BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - It is probably not a big surprise to anyone but there are a lot of people who are very sick thanks to the flu.
The latest data from the CDC shows most of the country is experiencing high levels of influenza. Here in New York State, Department of Health data shows the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza reports increased 37% in the beginning of January. The Health Department is also reporting a 40% increase in the number of people who were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza during the same period.
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health, offers advice in the attached clip.
After news that a 10-year-old Connecticut boy died from flu-related complications, many are wondering what symptoms indicate they should seek immediate care? The Erie County Health Department said the biggest warning sign is if you have a fever over 101 degrees for more than 24 hours.
Health officials are strongly urging people to get a flu vaccine if they have not done so. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, but it can help minimize the seriousness of flu symptoms.
Those most at risk from the flu include the elderly, those with chronic health conditions and young children. The CDC reports that there have been 20 pediatric deaths related to the flu since the beginning of October across the nation.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly visited the Catholic Academy of West Buffalo and the William-Emslie Family YMCA to see what steps are being taken to prevent the spread of the flu.