News Flash

Health & Human Services Department

Posted on: March 9, 2018

Influenza Remains Widespread but is Decreasing

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.

Important measures to reduce your chance of getting and spreading the flu and other infectious respiratory illnesses:

·        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/.

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