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Whooping cough, flu hit New York hard as March approaches

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New York is grappling with a stubborn outbreak of pertussis, also known as the 100-day cough, alongside a tenacious flu strain, marking a challenging respiratory virus season. The state, particularly New York City and Long Island, has reported over 350 cases of pertussis from October to late January. Health officials note a significant spike in cases, with a 200% increase in New York City compared to last year, mostly affecting young children around age 5 and severely impacting those unvaccinated.

The flu isn’t letting up either, with approximately 161,000 cases recorded statewide from the beginning of January to mid-February, a stark rise from the 37,000 cases during the same timeframe last season. This uptick comes as health officials push for increased vaccinations against respiratory diseases to counteract the drop in school vaccination rates seen during the pandemic.

Health authorities stress the importance of vaccination to prevent the spread of pertussis and the flu. With pertussis cases peaking in summer and fall, vaccinations are critical, including the routine DTaP series for children, Tdap boosters for adolescents and adults, and Tdap vaccinations for pregnant individuals to protect newborns. The ongoing outbreaks underscore the need for vigilance and vaccination to protect New York’s communities.