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Monday, April 19, 2021

Old Fashioned Annual Flu:
Flu cases reach 30 in GLOW region

The number of flu cases in the four-county GLOW region are largely unchanged, with just one new lab-confirmed case reported by the state Department of Health in the past month. Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties have seen a total of 30 flu cases since the current season began in October, according to data from the state Department of Health.

There has been a single case in Livingston County since March 23, according to data for the week ending April 17. Flu can occur at any time of year, but the season typically runs from October to May, with the GLOW region seeing its peak in February. The GLOW region usually sees hundreds of cases of flu in each county, but in this most unusual of flu season - steps taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus have been attributed to the drastic decline in confirmed flu cases - no county in the GLOW region has reached 10 cases.

Wyoming County has had nine confirmed cases, the most in the GLOW region - though none since Feb. 6. Among other GLOW counties, Orleans County has had eight, Livingston County seven, and Genesee County six. Genesee County has not had a lab-confirmed case of flu since Jan 23, according to the state health department data.

In comparison, Erie County has had 386 confirmed cases of flu and Monroe County has had 52, according to the state health department data. A total of 1,097 people have been tested for the flu in the GLOW region, an increase of 216 since March 23. The positivity rate among those tested is 2.73%. On March 23, the positivity rate was 3.29 percent; the rate was 3.98 on Feb. 6.

Among individual counties, the positivity rates are 2.02% in Genesee County, based on 303 tests; 2.5% in Livingston (279 tests); 2.5% in Orleans (324 tests) and 4.7% in Wyoming (191 tests). The positivity rates were down in each county as the amount of testing for flu increased.

Statewide, there have been 4,464 lab-confirmed cases of flu, an increase of 311 cases from a month ago, and 812,352 tests administered for a positivity rate of 0.55%. Three counties Yates, Tioga and Franklin have not yet had a lab-confirmed case of flu, according to the state health department’s flu tracker.

During the 2019-20 flu season, the GLOW region saw 2,013 total cases of flu. This included 695 cases in Livingston County, 598 in Genesee County, 454 in Wyoming County, and 266 in Orleans County. Last year was the most severe flu season in three years, with a strain of Influenza B which typically is most common later in the season being more prevalent early in the season.

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