Brace yourself for what could be a bad flu season. New York Health officials are speaking out and warning residents that influenza is spreading early and aggressively, already. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said,

With the early and aggressive spread of influenza, the annual flu shot is the most effective protection against serious illness. The COVID-19 booster can also be administered at the same time as the flu shot to further protect your health and those around you.

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Flu Season Has Started In New York State And The Flu Is Spreading Quickly

Generally, flu season is from October through May. The season generally peaks between December and February. Officials report that cases started popping up in September.

As of October 3, the number of New York counties reporting cases of influenza is 44, which is considered widespread, a determination made when more than half of the state's 62 counties report lab-confirmed cases.

In addition, COVID-19 is still spreading and many regions around the state have high positivity rates. Both viruses share similar symptoms which can range from mild to severe including:

- Fever
- Cough
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Headache
- Chills
- Fatigue

Health officials encourage New Yorkers to get the flu vaccine, which is available for people ages six months and older.

You can find a flu vaccine location near you here.

COVID-19 Positivity Rates Are Still High Around New York State

(7-Day Positivity Rates As Of Wednesday, October 5, 2022)

Capital Region - 9.82%

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Central New York - 10.79%

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Finger Lakes - 8.44%

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Long Island - 7.27%

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Mid-Hudson - 6.52%

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Mohawk Valley - 10.85%

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New York City - 5.42%

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North Country - 9.80%

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Southern Tier - 8.35%

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Western New York - 10.67%

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Statewide - 6.89%

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