WXXI AM News

Flu

This year marks the 100th anniversary of what's called the "greatest pandemic in history. -- the 1918 flu virus, also called the Spanish flu. That flu lead to the deaths of between 50 and 100 million people. Many people may think that an outbreak of that magnitude couldn't happen in today's world, but doctors say we are still vulnerable to pandemics.

Our guests discuss when the next worldwide pandemic will strike, what kind of flu strains we might see, and the latest research on flu viruses. In studio:

  • Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at URMC
  • Angela Branche, M.D., assistant professor of Infectious Diseases at URMC
  • Nana Bennett, M.D., professor in the Departments of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at URMC
  • Dave Topham, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology at URMC

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.

For the first time in about a month, the number of new confirmed flu cases in Monroe County have dropped from the previous week.

The latest weekly numbers show 540 new cases of flu, down from 715 the week before. And the total number of deaths so far this flu season remains at 11.  There has not been a flu related death since the week that ended on February 10th.

Monroe County health department spokesman John Ricci  says it may be too early to call it a trend, but it is a positive sign.

The number of flu  cases in Monroe County continues to rise, but there were no new deaths related to the flu for the latest reporting week, which ended February 17.

The county reported total confirmed cases for the season at 4,430, up 715 from the previous week.

The number of new flu cases has risen each week for the last four weeks.

The latest numbers on the flu in Monroe County show that they have not peaked yet. That according to John Ricci, a spokesman for the county’s Department of Public Health.

The latest data does show two more deaths related to the flu, for a total of 11 so far this season. The latest reported deaths both involved people age 75 or older.

The information from the county also shows there were 703 new cases in the week ending February 3rd.  Monroe County has seen 3,715 confirmed cases of influenza so far this season. The season began on October 1st.

The latest weekly figures on the flu in Monroe County show an increase in confirmed cases, but no additional deaths.  There have been 9 deaths related to flu so far this season.

The data shows that from January 27th to February 3rd, there were 686 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu, bringing the season total so far to 3,012.

County health department spokesman John Ricci says there’s no sign yet that flu season has peaked.

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.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News)  State health officials say laboratory-confirmed influenza cases topped 11,000 over the past week, with another 2,200-plus New Yorkers requiring hospitalization because of the flu. 

In releasing the latest flu statistics Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo again urged people to get the flu vaccine. The Democrat says flu cases and hospitalizations ``continue to rise at alarming levels.'' 

Health officials say the total confirmed flu cases during the past week reached 11,683, with 2,221 people hospitalized with confirmed influenza. 

Federal health officials say this year’s flu season is more intense than previous years, and is still getting worse. The CDC predicts that it is on track to equal or surpass the 2014-2015 season, during which 56,000 Americans died.

So why is this year’s flu season worse than usual, and why is the virus more widespread? And how effective is the flu vaccine? Our panelists answer your questions about the flu and treatment, and they discuss new research out of the University of Rochester dedicated to developing a universal flu vaccine. In studio:

  • Dr. Dave Topham, Ph.D., co-director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence
  • Dr. Brenda Tesini, M.D., assistant professor of infectious diseases in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Dr. Edward Walsh, M.D., unit head of infectious diseases at Rochester General Hospital, and professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center

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.

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