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Flu spike in New York State leads Cuomo to call for preparedness monitoring of healthcare centers

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 23:32:51-05

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The number of flu cases and flu-related hospitalizations continue to rise in New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo is now directing the health department to take more steps to ensure that health facilities are prepared for the remainder of the flu season.

"As the numbers of flu cases and flu hospitalizations continue to rise, I've directed the Department of Health to use every tool at its disposal to make sure our healthcare system remains prepared for an influx of patients," Governor Cuomo said. "While providers are taking extra steps in response to the uptick in the flu season, New Yorkers can still protect themselves and others by getting a flu shot."

According to the governor's office, reports show that there was recently another rapid increase in flu cases and flu-associated hospitalizations.

"Last week 1,964 New Yorkers were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza, up 34 percent from the previous week. This season, there have been 5,694 flu-related hospitalizations. In addition, last week, 10,085 laboratory-confirmed flu cases were reported to the State Department of Health, a nine-percent increase in cases from the week prior. There has been a total of 32,848 lab-confirmed cases reported this season, with one flu-associated pediatric death," according to the statement.

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"This one, it was kind of nothing and then in December, it kind of hit us," Amy Wojciechowski said. She's the Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship Coordinator at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. The Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is not one of the hardest hit hospitals, but the medical staff there is ready if there is an uptick.

"The flu is really unpredictable. We don't know whether this is going to continue being a really bad flu season of if it's gonna die down and get better really quickly," Wojciechowski said.