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Monday, May 9, 2022

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Spring 2022 continues to experience an active flu season

The number of lab-confirmed flu cases in the GLOW region for the 2021-2022 flu season surpassed 600 at the end of April, according to the state Department of Health.

Flu season begins in October and continues through the first week of May. In a typical flu season, cases tend to spike during the winter - Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties typically see cases peak between late December and February - then trend down through the spring. This season, the number of flu cases has been rising, with the majority of cases coming since early March.

There were 604 confirmed flu cases in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties as of the week ending April 30, the most recent data available.

Livingston County has reported 359 flu cases for the current season, more than double the next highest total of 134 cases in Genesee County. Orleans County has had a total of 65 cases, and Wyoming County 46 cases.

New York State has had 91,805 lab-confirmed cases of flu for the current season, according to state health department data.

The state Department of Health reported that flu activity was widespread for the week ending April 30, the 24th consecutive week of widespread activity. Cases were reported in all 62 counties.

Between April 9 and 30, the GLOW region reported 168 lab-confirmed cases of flu, with 86 of the cases in Livingston County, 38 in Genesee, 30 in Orleans and 12 in Wyoming. The number of total cases in Orleans County has nearly doubled in that period. (continued)

The GLOW region recorded 52 total cases for the week ending April 30, led by 25 cases in Livingston County. Genesee County had 14 cases, Orleans County had seven, and Wyoming County six, according to the state department of health.

For the week ending April 23, the GLOW region had 64 news cases, including 23 in Livingston County and 19 in Genesee County. Orleans County had 16 flu cases and Wyoming had six.

The week ending April 16, saw 52 flu cases in the region, with 38 of the cases in Livingston County. Orleans County reported seven cases, Genesee County five and Wyoming County two.

Flu activity for 2021-2022 is up significantly from the prior season when just 32 cases were reported across the GLOW region.

It should be noted that the data reflects only lab-confirmed cases, and that not everyone who experiences flu symptoms gets tested.

The current season’s total is still significantly below a typical season in which each of the GLOW counties is likely to see hundreds of cases of the flu. During the 2019-2020 season there were 2,013 total cases, including 695 in Livingston County, 598 in Genesee, 454 in Wyoming and 266 in Orleans County.

During the pre-COVID flu season of 2018-2019 there were 1,719 total cases. Genesee County had the most with 581, followed by Livingston County at 580, Wyoming at 288 and Orleans at 270.

Flu is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. It may seem like a common cold, with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat, but while colds usually develop slowly, the flu tends to come on suddenly.

People at higher risk of developing flu complications include young children, pregnant women and those two weeks postpartum, those over 65, those with weakened immune systems and some chronic illnesses, and those who are obese.

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