It's still flu season

NYS flu incidence graph 2017-February-25

Noted: Influenza continues to be "widespread" around New York State, according to the state Department of Health's latest weekly surveillance report. (It covers the week ending February 25.) All 62 counties reported cases, and almost all of them did so at levels that qualify for the highest activity category.

On the upside, the number of positive lab tests for flu cases from across the state peaked in early February and has been declining bit by bit the last few weeks. But the number of positive cases in sections of upstate -- including the Capital Region -- has continued to climb during February.

Influenza is kind of like the weather. It tends to follow some large-scale patterns, but ultimately you can never really be sure what's going to happen exactly. Last year's flu season in York State peaked in March, which is a bit on the late side. And the 2013-2014 season had two peaks: one in January and another in April.

And, of course, the flu is a very specific illness (or to be more precise, a specific group of viruses). It doesn't include colds, stomach bugs, and whatever the hell that cough was that once it got a hold of you wouldn't let go that seemed to be everywhere around the holidays.

So, uh, you know, keep washing your hands and coughing into your elbow. And if you're really sick and can stay home, do so.

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