HealthNew York

New York faces a tough flu season with increasing child mortality rates during the winter

New York – New York has been hit hard by the flu this winter, with health officials reporting eleven child fatalities attributed to the virus. This grim statistic highlights a concerning trend in the state’s battle against influenza, which has seen the illness remain widespread for over three months this season. This duration marks an increase from the previous year’s two months, showcasing a significant escalation in the flu’s impact.

Flu Cases on the Rise

The latest data from the New York State Department of Health reveals a troubling surge in flu cases, with 20,754 positive instances identified through the week ending February 17. This figure represents a 7% increase from the week before, indicating the flu’s rapid spread across the state. Monroe County alone has reported approximately 500 cases weekly, with a slight 1% increase from one week to the next.

Hospitalizations are also climbing, with 34 out of 509 reported cases in Monroe County resulting in hospital stays. Across New York, nearly 600 outbreaks have been documented in hospitals and nursing homes this winter, including 30 outbreaks in the most recent week reported.

While the ages of the children who succumbed to the flu in New York have not been disclosed, the situation is similarly dire in neighboring New Jersey. There, state health officials have confirmed the deaths of two children due to the flu, amid over 50,000 reported cases during the 2023-24 flu season.

This alarming rise in flu cases and the subsequent increase in hospitalizations and deaths underscore the severity of this year’s flu season. It serves as a stark reminder of the flu’s potential danger, particularly to the most vulnerable in our communities, and highlights the importance of preventative measures such as vaccination and good hygiene practices.

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