WXXI AM News

Monroe County flu deaths rise to 9

Feb 6, 2018

The latest weekly numbers of the number of flu cases in Monroe show another death, and an increase in the number of confirmed cases overall.

The number of deaths so far this season rose to 9, with the latest person to have died said to be someone between the ages of 50 and 64. Other details are not released. Of the deaths reported so far, all nine were people ages 50 or older.

The Monroe County Health Department also says that the county saw just 2,326  confirmed cases of influenza for the week ending January 27th,  an increase of 609 from the previous week.

Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza, is not surprised to see the number of cases rise.

“January and February tend to be busier months in terms of volumes of flu cases and … so to a large degree this is not terribly surprising; I’m very hesitant to call this thing anywhere near done. The decrease a couple of weeks ago in cases is probably not terribly predictive of very much quite yet,” Mendoza told  WXXI News.

Mendoza says the confirmed flu case number doesn't even reflect all of the people who have not even been tested for the flu, but may have still had it.

“I think a lot of people, rightfully so, are choosing to stay home and not get tested, perhaps in collaboration with their physician. But the one thing I want to add is, if somebody is at home and not feeling well, we do want them to call. We don’t want to over emphasize the stay at home piece because people do and can get sick from flu.”

And Mendoza says it’s still not too late to get a flu shot.

Statewide, there were 11,683 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports, a 50% increase over last week.