MAYVILLE, N.Y.: – The week of March
3, 2018 marked the 13th consecutive week of widespread influenza
activity across New York State. Although
still widespread, confirmed cases of influenza decreased by 53 percent
statewide compared to the prior week. A 41 percent reduction in
hospitalizations was also seen. This flu
season has been a tough one. Because of
the predominance on the virulent A(H3N2) strain, more severe illness, increased
hospitalizations for complications, and even deaths have been seen.
“Fortunately, we seem to have reached the peak of flu season and the
number of confirmed cases of influenza in the County decreased by 54 percent
compared to the prior week,” said Christine Schuyler, County Director of Health
& Human Services. “While this is good news, there is still a tremendous
amount of influenza and other respiratory illnesses out there and it’s
important to remain vigilant in protecting yourself and your loved ones.”
Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age and
older and anyone who has not already been vaccinated should do so now. It’s
important to remember that people who have severe influenza illness, or who are
at high risk of serious influenza-related complications such as the very young
and very old, pregnant women, and those who are immunocompromised, should get
treated with influenza antiviral medication if they get flu symptoms regardless
of whether or not they got vaccinated. Flu vaccinations are available at your
primary care doctor’s office, many local pharmacies or the Chautauqua County
Department of Health & Human Services’ Public Health Clinics.
to reduce your chance of getting and spreading the flu and other infectious
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, not your hands.
Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after blowing your
nose or coughing, using the bathroom, before and after eating, and after being
in contact with someone who is ill. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you
aren’t near a sink.
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Stay home when you are sick.
For more information on influenza vaccination, illness and reducing your
risk of contracting the flu, please visit www.cdc.gov or contact the
Chautauqua County Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health
Division at 1-866-604-6789. To find a
flu vaccine provider in your area, visit https://vaccinefinder.org/.