As the number of confirmed cases of influenza continues to steadily increase across the state, Suffolk County has announced it will offer free flu shots at Riverhead Free Library next week.
The immunizations will be available at the library on Tuesday from 2 to 6 p.m. to residents who are uninsured or whose insurance doesn’t cover the vaccine, the county said.
The latest influenza surveillance report, released Jan. 9 — the report is released every Thursday — shows another sharp increase in flu cases and flu-associated hospitalizations. In the prior week, the report said, 1,964 New Yorkers were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza, up 34 percent from the previous week. This season, there have been 5,694 flu-related hospitalizations.
Laboratory-confirmed flu cases reported to the State Department of Health during the surveillance report period reached 10,085, a 9% increase over the previous week.
There has been a total of 32,848 lab-confirmed cases reported this season, with one flu-associated pediatric death.
Influenza A(H1) is the predominate virus in the New York City metro region, including Long Island, the state health department said in an advisory this month. The influenza B virus is predominate in central and western New York. Influenza A(H1) and influenza B viruses are known to cause disproportionately more severe illness in young children, adolescents and middle-aged adults.
“We ask residents to obtain immunization against the flu to protect not only themselves but others who may be especially vulnerable to the flu, especially infants who are too young to be immunized, pregnant women, older residents and those with other health conditions that make them more vulnerable to flu,” Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Dr. James Tomarken said.
Flu shots are available at local pharmacies, in addition to physician’s offices. Find a location here.
Riverhead Free Library is located at 330 Court Street in Riverhead (parking lot entrance on Osborn Avenue.)
In addition to the free flu shot clinic in Riverhead on Jan. 21, the health department will be providing flu immunizations at its office in Great River tomorrow from 2 to 6 p.m. The health department’s office is located at 3500 Sunrise Highway, Suite 124.
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