MAYVILLE, N.Y.: - Influenza is widespread in Chautauqua County just as it is throughout the state and nation. This year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 5 – 9. Chautauqua County urges residents to get vaccinated.
The New York State weekly influenza surveillance report shows a 76% increase in influenza cases for the week ending November 26, 2022 compared to the week prior. As of November 26, 2022, the total number of reported statewide influenza cases is at 27,171 compared to 1,137 reported cases for this time last year. Hospitalizations nationwide are also on the rise, especially and mostly in those individuals older than 70.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicate that the 2022-2023 influenza season flu vaccine formulations are a good match to protect against the currently circulating flu viruses.
Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and anyone who has not already been vaccinated should do so now. 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 Clinic.
“With the holiday season and family gatherings upon us in the setting of increased spread of Flu, RSV and COVID-19, it is more important than ever to seek vaccination and take measures to prevent the spread of illness.,” said Michael Faulk, M.D., Interim Public Health Director for Health & Human Services. “Vaccination for COVID and Influenza remains the first line of defense to help prevent bad outcomes and hospitalizations from these viral infections while also reducing missed work and school days. Additionally, these vaccines can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.”
Don’t let your holiday plans get stumped by the flu, RSV, COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses. Reduce your chances of getting and spreading disease by following these recommendations:
- Stay up to date with flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
- Stay home from school, work, daycare and other activities if you are sick.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth if you have symptoms of respiratory illness – coughing, stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat.
- Masking indoors and social distancing may be important for those who live with or are visiting with higher risk individuals: infants, older adults (especially those older than 70), pregnant people, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying health conditions.
- Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others.
- Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Teach and remind children to do this too.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to use when soap and water are not available.
For more information on vaccination, Influenza, RSV or COVID-19 illness and reducing your risk of contracting viruses, 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 vaccine provider in your area, visit https://vaccinefinder.org/.