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Flu season isn’t over yet, health officials warn

As winter progresses, New York isn’t out of the woods with flu season yet, according to health professionals. Officials say a typical pattern where after an initial spike in flu A cases, a second surge of flu B infections emerges around spring. This year is no exception, with New York State Department of Health reporting over 1,300 hospitalizations due to the flu in the first week of February, marking a 12% increase from the previous week.

Despite common misconceptions, the uptick in flu cases isn’t directly related to colder weather but rather to increased indoor activity, which facilitates the spread of the virus among people. Health officials stress the importance of vaccinations against not only the flu but also COVID and RSV, as these respiratory illnesses continue to pose risks, especially to the elderly and children.

The emphasis on vaccinations comes amid rising hospitalizations, with officials urging the public to get vaccinated annually due to the evolving nature of respiratory viruses. The flu, COVID, and RSV vaccines are strongly recommended as preventive measures to safeguard against these potentially severe illnesses and to minimize the impact on healthcare facilities.