NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — With a surge in flu cases in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed the Health Department to activate enhanced preparedness monitoring of healthcare facilities.
The department will use the Health Emergency Response Data System to ensure hospitals across the state have the capacity, guidance and resources necessary to combat the recent surge in hospitalizations.
According to a report, nearly 2,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized with the flu in the last week, up 34% from the previous week. This season, there have been 5,694 flu-related hospitalizations in the state.
“While providers are taking extra steps in response to the uptick in the flu season, New Yorkers can still protect themselves and others by getting a flu shot,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
In New Jersey, health officials are also keeping a close eye on the illness.
“Compared to other years, we are seeing higher than typical for this time of the year, but nothing that is totally out of the ordinary,” said Dr. Edward Lifshitz, with the state’s Health Department.
There are also plenty of cases where people who were vaccinated still got the flu, but Dr. Bernard Camins, head of infection prevention at Mount Sinai, is still recommending the vaccine.
“Even if you’re healthy, the flu vaccine might not be 100 percent effective, but if you do get the flu, you’re less likely to be sick,” he said.
His best advice for avoiding getting sick? Wash your hands.