Amid reports of widespread influenza cases, the Westchester County Health Department has advised residents to get their annual flu shots.
The County Health department was compelled to issue this public advisory as reports of over a dozen pediatric nationwide deaths surfaced.
According to CDC, there have been an increasing number of hospitalizations of the elderly (above 65) and of children aged 4 and below.
Westchester County Health Commission, Sherlita Amler, MD. urged the residents to prioritize flu inoculation, for personal protection and to protect the community at large, including the young and the elderly. She said that the flu shot could help residents steer clear of hospitalization, or even worse, death.
Reiterating the importance of the flu shots, she further advised flu shots for individuals who were more prone to developing post-flu complications, including people with chronic health disorders.
To keep the virus at bay, Dr. Amler advised certain precautions such as frequent hand washing, taking care of general hygiene, and covering the face while sneezing and coughing.
Influenza typically peaks during winter months (Dec- Feb), but given favorable condition for virus spread, it can further stretch a few months till May.