New York state launches online flu tracker


By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The New York state government on Friday reminded all New Yorkers to get a flu shot to prepare for the flu season, which usually begins in October and runs through May, while launching the state Flu Tracker online to display daily and weekly flu data and provide timely information about local, regional and statewide flu activity.

"This fall could be a one-two punch for infection as we manage the start of another flu season while working diligently to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay," said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a press release.

"I'm reminding all New Yorkers that getting a flu shot not only protects you from the flu but will allow us to direct vital healthcare resources to fighting the next wave of the COVID-19 virus," he added.

During the 2019-20 flu season, there were 22,217 flu-associated hospitalizations in the state and 13 pediatric deaths. Over the last four years, there have been a total of 33 pediatric flu-associated deaths in New York state and an average of 19,318 flu-related hospitalizations each year, according to the release.

The New York State Department of Health recommends that anyone over six months of age get vaccinated for the flu to protect themselves and others during the upcoming flu season. Adults aged 65 years and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions, young children and pregnant women are among those at highest risk for serious flu complications, which may require hospitalization and could result in death.

Since the flu virus can spread through coughing or sneezing, it is especially important for family members and people who have regular contact with high-risk individuals to be vaccinated, said the department.

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