Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 11, 2013

Flu outbreak hits region early this season

Niagara Gazette — You’d be hard-pressed to find at least one friend, relative or co-worker who hasn’t come down with the flu in recent weeks. 

And while the health departments of Erie and Niagara counties will not have accurate statistics on the extent of the outbreak until later this year, reports gathered from various hospitals each day show there has been a surge in the number of influenza cases that have jammed up emergency rooms in hospitals across the region.  

Gale Burstein, commissioner of the Erie County health department, said it’s difficult to enumerate precise figures on those who have the virus because most who contract it do not tend to visit their medical providers. However, this winter’s rise may be attributable to two new flu strains as well as the early onset of the flu season that may be tied to last year’s exceedingly warm temperatures. 

“We are seeing much more flu this year compared to last,” Burstein said. “This is just looking at trends.” 

Dan Stapleton, director of the Niagara County Health Department, said the best way to fend off the virus is by getting a vaccination, which is about 60 percent effective, though it’s the simple things that can help keep you healthy like regularly washing your hands, staying home from work when symptoms arise and keeping your children home from school when they feel sick.  

“We’re telling people the same thing over and over,” he said. “Last year was a slow year in terms of flu cases. This season is proving to be a lot more expansive. About a month ago we had scattered cases of the flu in New York state. Now every county has multiple cases.”

The flu doesn’t usually hit its peak in the region until February according to Mary Walwander, an Erie County epidemiologist, though based on limited data this year is different, with more than 200 instances of the flu recorded recently.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results