Flu season is here, how to fight the germs

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Out with the holidays, in with the germs.

It’s officially flu season and the New York Health Department is now calling the flu widespread across the state with about 1,500 cases.

“We’re starting to see some increase in cases here we’ve seen a few locally in the last few weeks so we do expect that number to rise,” Megan Helmecke, Infection Preventionist at Albany Med, said.

Cases in New York spiked during the last weeks of December.

Helmecke says it’s no coincidence the flu shows up this time of year.

“People are traveling and getting together you’re in close contact with a lot of family members and friends and things like that and people are doing a lot of things, going to different functions so I think it’s the proximity of how people are close together.”

Dr. James Saperstone says he’s also seeing the season ramp up at his pediatric practice.

“It’s like clockwork. It’s like death and taxes. You get to the end of the holidays in January, February, or March and it starts to come up,” Dr. Saperstone said.

What can you do for prevention outside the obvious flu vaccine, hand sanitizing, and vitamin C?

Preventionalists say it might not be what your boss wants to hear but it is important.

“If you do start to feel sick, stay home. People, unfortunately, go to work when they’re ill and we really need them to stay home and not give it to co-workers, or as in our setting, their patients.”

At Albany Med, they want to remind you that if you haven’t gotten your flu shot it’s never too late to get one. They’re still widely available at most health providers.

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