‘Severe’ Strain Of Flu Reaches Epidemic Proportions In New York City

by CBS New York  |  published on January 12, 2013

cuomo flu shot

The flu is currently at epidemic levels across the five boroughs, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced Thursday.

Officials said a full 5 percent of emergency room visits are flu-related.

“It’s a bad year. We’ve got lots of flu, it’s mainly type AH3N2, which tends to be a little more severe. So we’re seeing plenty of cases of flu and plenty of people sick with flu,” Farley told reporters including WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

To protect against contracting the flu, Farley urged people to wash their hands and cover their mouths when they cough. And he said the flu shot can still help protect against getting sick.

“Our message for any people who are listening to this is it’s still not too late to get your flu shot. If you haven’t gotten the flu yet and you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, you could still get it,” Farley said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg got a flu shot in October but still got the disease last month. Still, Bloomberg said that won’t stop him from getting vaccinated every year, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported.

“Anybody that doesn’t think so is just missing an opportunity to protect themselves. There’s no guarantees in life. You can take a flu shot, walk across the street and get hit by a car. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your flu shot,” Bloomberg said.

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