As number of flu cases increase, Orange County urges people to get a shot


GOSHEN – We are in the middle of the flu season and more and more people are coming down with the bug. Orange County officials are encouraging residents to get a flu shot.

This past week saw an increase in flu cases statewide. In the week ending January 4, 10,085 laboratory-confirmed case of the flu were reported to the state health department, a nine percent increase over the previous week.

This flu season, 32,848 lab-confirmed cases have been reported to the state health department.

The number of weekly hospitalizations has also increased, with 1,964 New Yorkers hospitalized for lab-confirmed influenza, up 34 percent from the week before.

“The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year,” said Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman. “The body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time and because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and updated as needed to keep up with changing flu viruses. For these reasons, a flu vaccine is needed annually.”

“It’s not too late to take precautions and get a flu shot,” said County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “The vaccine is readily available from a variety of courses and can protect residents from becoming sick. This influenza season appears to be severe and serious complications can develop. The flu shot can lessen symptoms and save lives.”

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age. For the 2019-2 season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine, including live attenuated influenza vaccine (live nasal spray).

CDC data states that the influenza vaccine continues to provide protection against all flu viruses and can reduce the severity of symptoms for those who do get the flu.

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