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'Worst Week Ever' For Flu In New York

A flu shot can prevent many illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu.
A flu shot can prevent many illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu. Photo Credit: Provided

With flu season kicking into high gear, New Yorkers reported the most cases of the illness since state health officials began recording that data more than a decade ago.

The Department of Health reported that there was 6,083 lab-confirmed influenza cases last week, an increase of more than 50 percent the week before. Additionally, 1,606 people were reportedly hospitalized with the flu in the past week, the highest amount ever recorded since the NYSDOH began reporting and recording cases in 2004.

Influenza activity has been rampant throughout the country, with more than 60,000 confirmed cases during the season, according to the Center for Disease Control. In the first week of the year alone, there were 11,718 confirmed cases nationwide, including more than 30 pediatric deaths.

Health officials said that all people 6 months and older are recommended to receive an influenza vaccination each year. Depending on vaccine type available the vaccine will protect against either three or four different influenza viruses. Certain people are at "high risk" of serious complications from seasonal influenza. These include people 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.

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