WENY News - Doctors push for flu vaccinations as sickness rolls through NYS

Doctors push for flu vaccinations as sickness rolls through NYS

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HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- According to the New York State Department of health's weekly Influenza report, positive cases of the flu have risen dramatically over the past several months.

"We've definitely seen an uptick of the flu recently," said Finger Lakes Urgent Care Physicians Assistant, Thomas Coss. "We've had at least seven cases ourselves."

Flu symptoms mimic that of a common cold.

So doctors are urging anyone who thinks they're sick to come in as soon as possible. 

"The main symptoms that patients have are fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, headaches, runny nose," said Coss. "Some of the same symptoms you might have with a common cold. Usually just a little more severe."

From the beginning of October, to the middle of December, lab confirmed flu cases increased nine fold with less than 100 cases, to roughly 900 as of December 16. 

Even though the flu shot is at least thirty-percent effective, doctors are still urging people to get vaccinated .

"Even though we've seen that the effectiveness of the flu shot this year is quite not what it has been in the past, it still is our best preventative measure," said Coss.

If you think you have the flu, it's important to seek help within the first 48 hours.

"The main thing I encourage patients to do is to get in here the minute that they have symptoms is because you can get treated with medication such as Tamiflu, which is an antiviral medication that helps decrease the severity and the length of time that you'll be affected with the virus," said Coss. 

If you have a family member or significant other with the flu, you can also be prescribed Tamiflu to help you from catching it. 

To help increase your chances of avoiding the flu, make sure you're doing things like washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. 

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