As winter continues, flu season is still in full swing. According to Marielena Velez de Brown, deputy commissioner for Monroe County Department of Health, we typically see an earlier spike of flu A cases followed by a second spike of flu B infections around this time of year. During the first week of February, over 1300 people were hospitalized with the flu in New York State, a 12% increase compared to the previous week.
While many people may believe that the cold weather is to blame for the increase in flu cases, Velez de Brown explains that it’s more about spending more time indoors and around other people. This is why it’s important to get vaccinated against the flu, COVID-19, and RSV, especially for older adults and children.
It’s important to remember that it’s not just the flu to be cautious of during this time of year. Other respiratory illnesses like RSV and COVID-19 are still prevalent as well. Velez de Brown encourages everyone to think about all three illnesses together and get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from hospitalizations.
Every year, the virus mutates and changes, which is why getting a new vaccine is essential every year. It’s crucial for everyone to take responsibility for their health and get vaccinated against these preventable illnesses. By doing so, we can keep hospitalizations down and ensure that we make it through winter unscathed.