NEW YORK – According to the Department of Health, 15,000 cases of the flu have been reported so far this season in New York State.
Dr. Debra Blog, the state epidemiologist, says that number is cause for concern because there were only 4,000 total cases of the flu last year.
“I think all signs are there that this will be severe and we'll have to see how it goes,” she says.
Dr. Blog says this is the earliest start to the flu season in a decade, but the good news is the strain that is being reported is well matched to this year's vaccine.
While the flu season has gotten underway a lot faster this season, there is hope the numbers will drop off sooner too.
The NYS Department of Health urges anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so, saying there are still plenty of vaccines readily available.
“It works best in healthy, young people, but nothing is 100 percent,” she says.