Even though the season has peaked, Monroe County is still showing new flu cases. The latest numbers from the county health department show 6,608 confirmed cases of influenza for the season so far as of March 31st.
That is up 414 from the week before. And the latest numbers show an additional death related to the flu, bringing the total number of deaths so far to 16.
The number of confirmed flu cases so far is more than the cases for the 2016 and 2017 seasons combined.
Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza, says that just as many other places around the country, it has been a very active flu season locally.
“This is just not typical, we’re seeing the flu season lasting a little longer than it normally does, here we are at the beginning of April, we had one more death and the number of hospitalizations is much higher this year, so we’ve looked at a much more severe season overall,” Mendoza told WXXI News.
Mendoza says having that much influenza does put a strain on area hospitals.
“I’m hearing from my colleagues in both the hospital systems that the flu really has taken its toll; people are coming to be seen, whether it’s in the office, whether it’s in the ER or what have you and we’re seeing a lot more cases. And it is certainly putting a strain on a lot of resources.”
Mendoza says in past years the flu has sometimes lasted into May, even though the numbers are diminishing.
He urges frequent hand washing and staying home if you have flu symptoms.