MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Health and Human Services officials report the flu remains widespread but is on the decline.
Last week confirmed cases of influenza decreased by 53%, flu hospitalizations decreased 41%.
Health officials say this flu season has been tough because the predominant H3N2 strain causes a more severe illness.
“Fortunately, we seem to have reached the peak of flu season and the number of confirmed cases of influenza in the County decreased by 54 percent compared to the prior week,” said County Director of Health & Human Services Christine Schuyler in a media release. “While this is good news, there is still a tremendous amount of influenza and other respiratory illnesses out there and it’s important to remain vigilant in protecting yourself and your loved ones.”
Vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age and older and anyone who has not already been vaccinated should do so now.
Important measures to reduce your chance of getting and spreading the flu and other infectious respiratory illnesses:
· Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after blowing your nose or coughing, using the bathroom, before and after eating, and after being in contact with someone who is ill. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you aren’t near a sink.
· Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
· Stay home when you are sick.