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‘Widespread’ flu activity now reported in New York: Here the counties are most affected

With all eyes focused on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with the Omicron variant raging, the flu season has quickly and quietly crept into New Yorkers, where flu is still categorized as "widespread."

In the latest update from the Department of Health, New York recorded 5,075 cases of influenza out of nearly 100,000 tests performed, marking the "seventh week in a row that widespread activity has been reported after a week of regional activity."

The latest data represents an 18 percent drop over the previous update from the New York State Department of Health.

According to health authorities, 58 counties reported cases of influenza, a dozen up from the latest update.

The only counties in New York with less than 10 cases of influenza per 100,000 inhabitants in the last week are:

  • Broome;
  • Ulster;
  • Greene;
  • Rensselaer;
  • Fulton;
  • Franklin;
  • Tompkins;
  • Erie;
  • Orleans;
  • Niagra;
  • Wyoming;
  • Yates;
  • Schuyler;
  • Tioga;
  • Cortland;
  • Schenectady;
  • Saratoga;
  • Hamilton;
  • Columbia.

Across the country, there are now 291 patients being treated for laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza, a drop of 7 percent from the previous update from the Ministry of Health.

No flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported so far in the current flu season.

A breakdown of confirmed cases of influenza by age group in the 2021-22 season:

  • 0-4: 4,895;
  • 5-17: 11,175;
  • 18-49: 12,405;
  • 50-64: 1,670;
  • 65+: 1,515.

The Department of Health estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million diseases each year in the United States and several deaths. Of these diseases, an estimated 9 percent were hospitalized.

According to the CDC, influenza infects the respiratory tract. "As the infection progresses, the body's immune system responds to fight the virus.

"This results in inflammation that can trigger respiratory symptoms such as cough and sore throat. The immune system's reaction can also trigger fever and cause muscle or body pain.

"When an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks, they can spread influenza viruses in respiratory droplets to people nearby.

"People can also get the flu by touching a contaminated surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose."

The complete latest update on influenza in the state of New York from the Department of Health can be found here.

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