Local area sees spike in flu cases and deaths

Posted at: 01/10/2013 6:57 PM
Updated at: 01/11/2013 3:26 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion/Lynette Adams

The Monroe County Health Department tells News10NBC there have been seven deaths in just the last two weeks due to the flu and eight deaths overall.

Officials also say they have seen at least 400 more cases in the last week alone. There have been more than 1,300 confirmed cases of the flu this season in Monroe County, 350 confirmed cases in Ontario County and 234 in Wayne County. Last year, Wayne County officials say there was less than 100 cases.

The majority of the deaths were elderly people, but the health department is still urging residents to get a flu shot if they haven't already. Overall, there have been 1,300 flu cases and more than 200 people have been hospitalized as a result.

Officials say they don't want people to panic, but they do want people to take this very seriously. They tell News10NBC that local hospitals are practically bursting at the seams with patients sick with the flu. They are calling this one of the worst flu seasons they have see in a very long time. Health officials say they do want people to get vaccinated.

Monroe County Spokesman John Ricci says, "There is still time to benefit from getting a flu shot. Flu can linger well into April and sometimes May. It typically does not but it can. So if this turns out to be one of those years we could still be looking at several more months of flu so getting a flu shot now still makes sense."

Officials at Immediate Care in Greece tell News10NBC they have noticed an increase in patients and that is making wait times longer at the hospital. The medical director says it's the worst flu outbreak she has seen in her 25 years of practice.

"We are at capacity or above capacity at our center," says Dr. Janet Williams. "We have never seen these volumes of patients before. We have had to call in extra physicians, extra nurses, extra registration staff to process people. We do have a longer wait than usual, but that's just because of the higher volume that we're seeing."

You can click here to find where you can get vaccinated.