According to a press release from the New York State Department of Health, this is the fourth consecutive week since being categorized as geographically widespread, the number of laboratory confirmed influenza cases has decreased across New York.
Influenza has been categorized as geographically widespread for the last 13 weeks in New York State.
As of March 17, 114,415 confirmed cases of influenza have been reported and 20,612 people have been hospitalized with influenza in New York this season.
In addition to getting a flu shot and staying home when sick, it’s essential to practice good hand-hygiene:
- Unlike some viruses, influenza is easily killed by soap and hot water.
- Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available. Choose a product with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
People with the flu are infectious for up to 7 days after symptoms begin.
For more information about the flu, visit: www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal