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As Boston Declares Emergency, Flu Cases Also Spike in New York City

As Boston Declares Emergency, Flu Cases Also Spike in New York City
Health Commissioner encourages all New Yorkers to get flu vaccination.

New York City, along with most of the United States, has recently shown a spike in the number of confirmed influenza cases.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a public health emergency Wednesday as reports surfaced that suggest approximately 700 confirmed cases of the flu have been found in Boston since the beginning October. The number is a wide leap from last year's total case count of 70, according to a statement released by Menino's office.

"This is the worst flu season we've seen since 2009, and people should take the treat of flu seriously," Menino said Wednesday, according to a report from CNN.

Roughly 600 flu cases were confirmed last week in New York City, according to Dr. Nathan Litman of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. The previous week rendered 200 confirmed cases. 

“This has been a huge flu season so far,” Litman said in a phone interview. “And I know that our emergency rooms are already overwhelmingly busy with patients being concerned about respiratory illness and fever, and possible flu.”

New York City's Department of Health would not confirm numbers. But Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement Wednesday, “influenza activity in New York City is increasing and we encourage any New Yorkers who have not received their flu vaccination to do so immediately.”

Farley continued to highlight the fact that outbreaks have been reported recently in various nursing homes. He suggests that all residents and staffs of New York City nursing homes get the flu vaccine, restrict visits of potentially sick family members and act quickly to seek care if symptoms are recognized.

So far this season, there been 2,257 hospitalizations in the U.S. connected to the flu, according to CNN. Eighteen children have died.

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