Flu Claims Two Lives in Onondaga County: What You Can Do To Help Protect Yourself
Two elderly Onondaga County Residents have died and many others are hospitalized due to an outbreak of the flu. County health officials say state lab tests confirm 88 cases, or twice as many as this time last year. But that number is likely only a fraction of actual illness in the community. The primary virus is Influenza "A" H3N2, which is different than the vaccine and the reason for the spike in illness. Still, Health Commissioner Doctor Indu Gupta says residents should continue to get inoculated, especially the very old and very young.
"Its still not late to do that because you will still be protecting with the strain which still can go in the upsurge later on. For example there is H1 as well as Influenza B, not prevalent at this point, but they could come into the later season. "
Dr. Gupta says those who died were in their 80's and 90's and had underlying medical conditions. Health Department Medical Director Dr. Quoc Nguyen says there are four groups of people they're concerned about:
“Many of us who are young and have no medical conditions and those who have vaccinations will recover quickly. What we worry about are those people who are very young, very old, pregnant women and those people who have medical conditions”
- Protect yourself by getting the vaccine
- Prevent it with regular hand washing and even isolation
- Prescription with a treatment like TAMIFLU