This influenza season has resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations and nearly a dozen deaths so far with more months to go.
The state Department of Health Services issued a statement last week saying hospitalizations are on the rise. Locally, Leslie Schott of the Oneida County Health Department says there's been more flu than recent years...
"...So far this state has seen 459 hospitalizations. There has been 11 deaths reported as well. But the harshest hit has been in the southern regions. I can report there's been three times as many hospitalizations that we've seen at this time as last year..."
Officials say the old saying 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' is true with the flu.
Schott says if you're sick, stay home. She says if you visiting someone in a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility, you might want to wear a mask. Make sure you wash your hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer.
She says be careful with infants...
"Don't be holding or kissing babies if you're sick. Those under six months cannot get the flu shot. Make sure you're covering your cough and sneezes with your sleeve. Try to avoid touching your face with your hands. If you use a tissue, throw it away after one use..."
She says clean commonly-touched areas around the home or office. She says people with weakened immune systems, such as seniors, or people with chronic conditions such as diabetes have to be especially alert.
Schott says there's still time to get a flu shot for this season.