New York State’s Governor Cuomo has issued a public health emergency over the weekend due to the serious outbreak of flu around the country and within the state itself. So far, New York is reporting more than 20,000 cases of flu so far this season. It is a significant increase from the 4,400 cases reported last year.
All 57 counties in New York and all five boroughs of New York City are affected by the flu. Pharmacists are allowed to provide the flu shot to anyone between ages 6 months and 18 years old under the emergency order. Prior to the emergency, pharmacists were not allowed to vaccinate children.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta GA said there are epidemic levels of child deaths with at least 20 on record across the nation this season. Many agencies and even Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg have been urging people to get the vaccination shot as soon as possible.
Makers of the flu vaccine have provided the country with 135 million doses of the flu vaccine for this year. Early this month, 128 million of those doses have been given out. It is estimated that only 37% of the population receive a flu shot every year. Health officials would like to see that number climb closer to 50% of the population and would ensure enough doses would be available for those in need.
What New York Governor Cuomo Is Saying
Two other viruses spreading around the country are the norovirus and whooping cough. Both are increasing the amount of people getting sick this year. Governor Cuomo and Officials are urging those not vaccinated from the flu to get their shot. The flu has symptoms similar to a cold but typically affect the person suddenly with symptoms that are much more severe. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with a weakened immune systems are most at risk for getting the flu.