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News Release 

TOMPKINS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Frank Kruppa – Public Health Director
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:
Karen Bishop, RN at (607) 274-6616 or Theresa Lyczko at (607) 274-6714

Flu Reported in Tompkins County

 
(ITHACA, N.Y., December 3, 2012) —Seasonal flu has arrived in Tompkins County. Laboratory confirmed cases indicate that there are Tompkins County residents who have become ill with the flu this season. However, these cases do not reflect prevalence since not everyone visits a doctor when they have the flu and most diagnoses are made clinically and not through laboratory confirmation.

The early arrival of flu illness coincides with National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 2 – 8, a national observance highlighting the importance of continuing to provide flu vaccination for those people who were not vaccinated earlier.

The Tompkins County Health Department urges everyone (6 months of age and above) to get a flu shot if they haven’t already. It’s not too late. Community members should contact their medical providers or local pharmacies. The Health Department has a limited supply of vaccine remaining. Call the Health Department at 274-6616 for more information.

Flu typically peaks in this region in January or February; there is no way to determine when it will peak this year. However there has been an up tick earlier this year than most seasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nation wide this is the earliest in the season that visits to physicians for influenza like illness (temperature 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and cough and/or sore throat) have reached the 2.2% baseline since the 2003 – 2004 season.

The New York State Department of Health reports that as of the week ending November 24, flu is widespread in New York State. This means that there have been increased or sustained number of laboratory confirmed cases of influenza (flu) reported in 31 of 62 counties, Tompkins County included.

Stay healthy during the holidays. Protect yourself, your family and friends from getting the flu. Travel and holiday gatherings can increase the risk for getting sick – don’t spoil the fun – get a flu shot.

While flu vaccination is the best prevention against the flu, basic prevention practices are always important to keep in mind to prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue during coughs and sneezes; discard the tissue.
  • Keep your hands away from your face, eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Clean frequently used surfaces such as door knobs, telephones, keyboards.
  • Stay home from school, work, and social engagements if you have flu symptoms to protect others.
  • See your medical provider within 48 hours if you become ill with the flu to determine if there are appropriate treatment options.

For more information: www.tompkins-co.org/health and www.cdc.gov/flu and www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal/

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Page updated: December 5, 2012  |  Webmaster