Contributed photo 
Sullivan County Legislator Ira Steingart received a flu shot on February 9 from Sullivan County Community Health Nurse Amanda Wolfe.

County officials: get a flu shot

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature is urging residents to get a flu shot, even of they’ve already had the flu.

More than 53,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed state-wide this season, and the season is expected to continue until well into the spring, ending in May. In Sullivan County, 211 cases were confirmed from December 31 through February 3. A county press release says that is “a significant increase from the 24 confirmed cases from October through December 2017.”

In Sullivan County Public Health Services is expanding the hours when people are able to receive influenza vaccine shots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the clinic in Liberty.

Vaccinations may also be received from local healthcare providers and some pharmacies. Other providers can be found online at www.vaccinefinder.org.

 On February 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the state health commissioner to authorize emergency funding to New York’s 62 counties in response to the overwhelming number of flu diagnoses, which are continuing to rise exponentially.

Officials say residents should get a vaccination as long as influenza is causing new cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nationwide, 63 children have died from influenza, and the rate of infections and hospitalizations continues to rise.

One hundred years ago, in 1918/19, the “Spanish Flu” pandemic is estimated to have killed up to 100 million people worldwide, or an estimated three to five percent of the world’s population at the time. But that was not the same strain that is circulating today. Also, medical professionals say that modern medicine is more capable of dealing with critical illnesses than it was 100 years ago.

 

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