New York – The number of people coming down with the flu has exploded in New York state this season.
There has been more than 10,000 confirmed cases as of Jan. 4, according to the state’s online flu tracker, compared with approximately 3,000 in the same time frame in 2017.
Classrooms have been noticeably emptier and doctors’ offices more packed than usual. Nearly 2,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized in the first week of January, up 34 percent from the previous week.
The state’s health department declared influenza “prevalent” in December, requiring healthcare workers who hadn’t taken the flu shot to wear surgical or procedure masks in areas where patients are present.