By Forum Staff
The total amount of flu cases in New York this season has eclipsed the previous record number of seasonal cases since the State Department of Health began tracking them during the 1998-1999 season, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
The latest influenza surveillance report for the week ending Feb. 22 shows 131,604 laboratory-confirmed cases so far this season. Previously, the most lab-confirmed cases reported during a single flu season was 128,892 in 2017-2018.
Cuomo also noted that although seasonal flu activity continues to be widespread across the Empire State, for the second consecutive week, the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and hospitalizations decreased. Earlier in February, 10,520 lab-confirmed cases of influenza had been reported and 1,454 people had been hospitalized with influenza. As indicated in the influenza surveillance report, there were three new flu-associated pediatric deaths, for a total of nine flu-associated pediatric deaths this season. Two of the new three pediatric deaths occurred in the five boroughs, while the other was a resident of the North Country region.
“While I am encouraged to see yet another decrease in the number of flu cases across the state, this year’s flu season has been grueling and New Yorkers must remain vigilant against the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “If you haven’t already been vaccinated it’s not too late. I urge you to get a vaccine and to please stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading the illness.”
Flu season occurs primarily from October through May.