A sharp turn for the flu season

NYSDOH flu surveillance graph week ending 2018-03-03

For a while this winter it felt like everyone was sick -- and the flu, especially, was really cranking.

But the path of this season's flu trend took a sharp turn in recent weeks. Check out the the graph above from the state Department of Health most recent influenza surveillance report (it covers up to the week ending March 3). The red line is the current flu season, compared to the three previous seasons.

After a sharp rise in lab-confirmed cases through January and the first part of February, the number has since sharply fallen. But as you can see, this season has still been intense, with about double the number of lab-confirmed cases as in recent years.

Influenza is still "widespread," according to DOH. So, you know the deal -- wash your hands, cover your cough (preferably not with your hand), and stay home if you're sick. (Let's hope the number cases keep falling -- every now and then there's a double-peak flu season.)

And this season has been a good reminder that it's worth making the effort to get a flu shot at the beginning of each fall. Getting the jab can not only help you avoid getting the flu, it can lessen the severity if do catch it, and it can help reduce the spread to the people around you.

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