Flu Deaths Creep Closer To North Country

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Story Updated: Jan 17, 2014

This year's flu has killed scores of people across several states, including two just recently in central New York. 

Jefferson County Public Health has been monitoring the toll.

"The flu does kill people every year.  A lot of people don't think about it until they see it in the newspaper or see it in the news," said Faith Lustik of Public Health.

This year's predominate strain of the flu is H1N1.

Officials say it's unique in turning up more often and more severely in those who are overweight.

"Usually it would be things like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, but this year it's obesity, which is a particular concern in our north country region because we have a high rate of obesity," said Lustik.

The good news is most people recover after several days of feeling awful and the vaccine against this year's strain is very effective.

But the bad news is - it's still early in the season.

"It still could be early. We could still see this thing go full-blown. Knock on wood - so far, not as bad," said Mark Knowles, physicians assistant at Watertown Urgent Care.

That means there's still time to get that shot, save yourself some misery and maybe even your life.

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