WXXI AM News

Monroe County flu deaths rise to 8

Jan 30, 2018

The latest weekly numbers from the Monroe County Health Department show that three more people died from the flu.

That brings to 8, the number of flu deaths reported so far this season. The latest cases happened in three different age groups, including 50 to 64, 75 to 84 and 85 and older. Last year there were 13 deaths reported attributed to the flu in Monroe County.

The latest weekly figures do show a slight decrease in new cases compared to the previous week, but Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza says that doesn’t necessarily mean the flu season has peaked yet.

“I certainly wouldn’t make a trend out of just one decrease, so, to that extent, no I don’t think I would take that as a sign that things are getting better quite yet. If we see a number of weeks in a row where things start to decline then I might be more inclined to call it a trend, but I think right now it’s too soon to tell.

Mendoza says there is still time to get vaccinated.

“I don’t think it is too late to get the flu shot at this point. We know it takes almost two weeks before the flu vaccine starts to take effect but there’s no sign, that we’re only 2 weeks away from the end of the season, so I think there’s still ample time for people to get the flu shot,” Mendoza told WXXI News.

Mendoza urges people who think they may have the flu to stay home.

“I think we know that when the influenza is prevalent in the community, that’s especially when we want people to stay home when they’re ill, because things can spread quickly and people can get sick very quickly. Anything we can do to keep people home to get better and prevent the spread of illnesses is certainly something we want to work for.”

Nationwide, experts say this has been one of the worst flu seasons in several years.