Jefferson County flu cases skyrocket between October and November

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:37 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - In November, nearly 600 flu cases were reported in Jefferson County. Public health officials say this could be an early spike in the flu season.

The county leads the way in the north country for flu cases.

In October, there were 33 cases in the county. That jumped to 595 cases in November.

Many of those cases were diagnosed at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown.

“Absolutely you’re seeing a higher case of positive flu rates for those who we have tested here in Samaritan. In October, just two months ago, we had 12 positive cases, November we had 292, so it’s unsure what December will bring us, but that is a significant jump in positive cases,” said Leslie DiStefano, SMC spokesperson.

Jefferson County Public Health Service says we might be seeing an early spike in cases but remember the flu season continues well into the winter when cases could spike again.

“Now the interesting thing is that our flu cases from last year, our peak was in May, so flu season starts October 1 of one year and goes through May of the following year, so really we’ve had two flu spikes within the same calendar year,” said Faith Lustik, public health planner.

Lustik emphasizes the flu can put people in the hospital and residents need to remember there’s a vaccine.

“So getting vaccinated against flu and Covid can reduce your risk of hospitalization, so very important to do that,” she said.

If you feel sick, health officials say the best advice is to stay home.