Klein: Reports Of Flu Above Average And On The Rise

Jeffrey D. Klein

January 14, 2006

Bronx, NY – Citing newly released Health Department data on the spread of the flu in New York State this year, State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) urged all New Yorkers who haven’t already had a flu shot to seek one now to better protect themselves.

As of January 7th, the New York State Department of Health has confirmed cases of the flu in 26 counties and four of the five boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan). The first case of the flu in the Bronx was reported on October 15th, with additional cases reported during 7 of the past 12 weeks. Statewide, total physician visits for Influenza Like Illness (ILI) have been above the national average for the past 3 weeks, which is an early warning sign that an increase in confirmed cases of the flu is to follow shortly. Last week, the 3.2% of all physician visits in New York were for influenza like illness, above the national average of 2.2%, as calculated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

These new numbers aren’t cause for alarm, but should serve as a clear reminder for New Yorkers who haven’t already received their flu vaccination to do so soon,” said Klein. “Typically it only takes 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination for immunity against the flu to develop, so I hope New Yorkers will attend one of our upcoming flu shot clinics or call their local Department of Health to find the location of one near them,” Klein concluded.

Throughout January, Klein has hosted several flu shot clinics in conjunction with Congressman Joe Crowley, Assemblyman Mike Benedetto, Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Jacobi Hospital. The next one is Wednesday, January 18th from 11a.m. to 2p.m at the City Island Library, 320 City Island Avenue. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Senator Klein’s District Office at (718) 822-2049.