Chautauqua County Director of Health Christine Schuyler says that local surveillance data shows the number of positive tests for influenza has doubled during the final week of December.
Statewide in the week ending December 27, there have been 3,922 confirmed influenza reports representing a 90% increase from the previous week. Hospitalizations related to influenza have increased by 139% and there has been one influenza related pediatric death reported this season.
Health officials are reminding the public that frequent hand-washing is crucial so that illness is not spread from one person to another. When sneezing or coughing, be sure to turn away from others and use a tissue to cover your mouth or nose and sneeze into the crook or your arm, rather than into your hands.
And they remind residents to get a flu shot. Influenza can lead to severe respiratory illness requiring hospitalization and in some cases can be fatal. The flu season can last as late as May due to variations in the timing and duration of the season. Health officials say that as long as flu season is not over, it is never too late to be vaccinated.