Health officials report 10 flu deaths in North Carolina

Indiana sees its 3rd flu death of the season

In January 2018, Governor Cuomo signed an emergency executive order allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18 during the 2018 flu season.

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The federal Centers for Disease Control reported on Friday that flu activity is increasing across the country, with 11 states, including NY, reporting widespread activity.

Total lab-confirmed cases for the week ending December 22 rose to 2,117, up from 1,230 the week before, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who issued a prepared statement urging flu vaccinations for everyone older than 6 months as soon as possible.

"While we're seeing fewer flu cases this season, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated since the flu season could last through April and even May", Wooten said. Although the elevated activity has prompted the CDC to announce the start of flu season, health officials say it's too early in the season to know how severe it will be.

"Generally, the highest hospitalization rates are for people over 65 and this year so far, the highest hospitalization rates are for children under 5", Dr. Kerry Fierstein, the CEO of Allied Physicians Group, said.

A year ago, Livingston County had almost 700 lab-confirmed cases of flu in what was an especially virulent season.

"This is a very sad reminder that flu is unpredictable and can be deadly", Julie Vaishampayan, MD, a public health officer with the county, said in a statement.

In the Hudson Valley, Westchester has the most documented cases at 98, followed by 36 in Dutchess County, 32 in Orange County, 24 in Rockland County, six in Ulster County, four in Putnam County and three in Sullivan County.

Flu season officially began in October, and can last into May. "Unvaccinated persons are at higher risk of flu illness themselves and of transmitting flu to others".

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