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February 5, 2020 - 3:29pm

Good news is no 2019 CoronaVirus reported in NYS to date, bad news is flu season drags on

posted by Billie Owens in Public Health, flu season, COVID-19, news.

So far, the Chinese pandemic that has millions of people quarantined has not thus far been reported in New York State. But the pesky flu season drags on, and health officials report the influenza season continues now into its ninth week.

For the week ending Jan. 25 alone, there were 60 new cases of flu reported in Genesee County. Of those, 42 were Type A, and 18 were Type B.

The "Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report" from the New York State Department of Health, which covers influenza activity across the state and by county, is published every Thursday during flu season and can be found here for state data and, here for county-by-county statistics.

In regard to another communicable illness, one that is causing global alarm -- "the 2019 Novel (New) CoronaVirus (2019-nCoV)" -- there are no confirmed cases in New York State, according to Nola Goodrich-Kresse, a county public health educator.

More than 50 million people in China in more than a dozen cities are locked down in an effort to contain the virus.

"The Health Departments are monitoring the situation and will be notified if any travelers from China are returning to our area," she writes in an email. "We are encouraging people to take the same prevention steps as recommended for the seasonal flu as we are still in the midst of the flu season."

Those preventative steps are:

  • Get the flu vaccination if you have not done so already;
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home if you are sick; if you are experiencing difficulty breathing or high fever, contact your primary care provider for further instructions.  Let your primary care provider or if you have to travel by ambulance, emergency services know of your travel history;
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces.

The NYS Department of Health has opened a 2019 Novel (New) CoronaVirus Hotline) for questions or concerns about travel and symptoms at 1-888-364-3065 or you can visit their website here.

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