NORWICH – The number of Chenango County citizens diagnosed with the flu is on the rise and is already up from last year, while the peak of the flu season in January and February still looms on the horizon. Across the state, the amount of flu cases has tallied up to a greater number than last flu season and this week alone, the percentage of flu positives has reached an elevated level in Region 2, which includes New York, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s website, flu.gov.
“We have seen an increase in the number of outpatients at our clinics and patients with flu-related complications being admitted to the hospital,” said Registered Nurse and UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital’s Infection Preventionist Gina Acee.
Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a virus which attacks the lungs. Flu symptoms vary in intensity, ranging from mild cases easily confused with the cold, to cases necessitating emergency hospitalizations, or even extreme cases leading to fatality.
Experts believe the flu is most commonly spread through water droplets excreted by the infected when they cough, speak, or just open their mouths. It can also be spread through the touching objects, so it is important to frequently wash hands during the flu season and avoid touching mouths or eyes.