Flu season begins in Monroe County, statewide

Dec 15, 2016

Credit freeimages.com/Sebastian Smit

As of December 10, there have been 1,264 confirmed cases of influenza in New York State.

The New York State Department of Health says 19 of these were reported in Monroe County.

Flu season typically peaks in January and February, but Maryrose Laguio-Vila, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Rochester Regional Health, says it's still not too late to get a flu shot.             

"Once someone gets the flu vaccine, they do need about two weeks for their body to develop the antibodies so they can be protected against the flu, so the best time would be now, before the peak really hits."

Dr. Laguio-Vila says some people avoid the flu shot because they think it will expose them to the flu, but that's a myth.

"It's meant to stimulate your immune system so you it may seem like you have low-grade fevers or some soreness of the arm, but those are more just your immune system reacting to that vaccine; you don't truly get an influenza infection."

Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone six months of age or older.

As of this morning, there have been 486 flu-related hospitalizations reported statewide.