Influenza, commonly referred to as the “Flu”, is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that affect the nose, throat, lungs, and other parts of the body. The flu virus typically spreads from person to person when someone with the flu coughs or sneezes.
An annual flu vaccine is recommended for almost everyone 6 months and older and may keep you from getting the flu. The flu vaccine can also reduce your risk for severe illness and hospitalization from the flu.
Flu shots are widely available in the community and may be administered at the same time as other vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccine. To receive a flu shot:
- Diagnosing Flu
- It may be hard to tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 because many of the symptoms are similar. Please contact your healthcare provider as testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.
The Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) influenza data will be updated bi-weekly. The data represents counts of persons with laboratory-confirmed influenza (“cases”) that are reported to the county and state health departments. Western Region data shared in the NCDOH report is collected from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) NYS Flu Tracker.
NCDOH does not report on hospitalized cases at this time. The NYS Flu Tracker includes local hospitalization data, however, this data is based on the number of hospitalized patients with flu at all hospitals within a county. The geographic location (county) of the hospital is utilized, not the geographic (county) residency of the patient. For example, a Niagara County resident hospitalized at Erie County facility will be counted as a hospitalized case of Erie County.
As cases continue to rise this flu season, NCDOH strongly encourages everyone to receive their annual vaccine, stay home if they are sick, and consult their healthcare provider as appropriate.