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Flu Activity Surging as the Season is About to Peak; Vaccine Will Still Work

The peak of the flu season is upon us, and Central New Yorkers are still encouraged to get a flu shot if they haven’t already.  108 flu cases have been reported to the Onondaga County Health Department in the past week.  That compares to just one for the same week last year.   Kinney Drugs Pharmacy services manager Shannon Miller says the flu season this year is slightly out of the ordinary.

"We're seeing higher activity out of New York City and New York State in particular, in addition to about six other states that are seeing higher activity than normal," Miller said.

Miller says the percentage of doctor’s visits related to the flu is currently around 3.3 percent, up about one percent from the average year.  She also notes that this in this year alone, there have been 3,000 hospitalizations nation-wide related to the flu.  Miller says there is a common misconception that holds people back from getting their shot.

Peak month of flu activity 1982-83 season to 2015-16.

"I would say most people, even if they don't forget about getting the flu shot at this point in time, they think it's too late, and it's really not too late to get the flu shot," Miller said.

She says it’s especially important for children under age 5 and those over 65.  The virus typically hits its peak in late January and early February. Miller says now is a perfect time to get the vaccination.

"If you were to get it now, which I do advise, it will offer you protection through the remainder of the flu season," Miller said.

For those who end up getting the flu, she says it’s best to seek treatment quickly…within 48 hours of falling ill.  Miller says while medication is not a perfect remedy, it can ease the symptoms and will put the patient on a faster road to recovery.  Flu vaccinations are available at all Kinney Drugs pharmacies.  More information is at   Syracuse University is also holding a flu clinic for employees Monday January 30th in Room 303 Newhouse I from 11:00 to 2:00.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at