Tools

Flu clinics set up in various counties following influenza outbreak

By GARY LIBERATORE

The Oneida County Health Department officials say they have a total of 94 confirmed cases of influenza in the past week.

Oneida County Health Department Spokesperson Ken Fanelli says the flu, or it's more formal name, influenza, is a reportable illness.

That means if you go to the hospital or to the doctors and lab tests are done to determine the cause of your illness, and it is then confirmed that you have a case of the flu, it must be reported to the county health department.

So in the past week alone there have been 94 confirmed lab cases reported here in Oneida County.

Fanelli says the reported cases are just that, reported cases.

"We've seen 94 confirmed cases, one has to assume there are many more people out there that are sick and just write it off as a bad cold and they don't see medical attention," Fanelli said.

Since it's so prevalent, so early, Fanelli, says the Health Department is strongly urging people to get their flu shot soon.

"It takes two weeks to develop immunity after you get the shot so don't wait, get the shot now, because the flu is here."

Symptoms of the flu can include fever, chills, headache, aching muscles and joints, loss of appetite, general weakness, a sore throat and a runny nose.

Fanelli says everyone needs to do their part to keep the influenza virus from spreading.

"You can stop the spread of flu by practicing good respiratory hygiene, covering you coughs and sneezes, hand washing, proper hand washing, can't stress the importance of that especially this time of year."

Herkimer and Madison County health officials say they have had some confirmed lab cases this past week, but the numbers are no higher than normal for this time of year.

Otsego county, meanwhile has not had a single lab confirmed case yet this year.

Each county in New York state has walk-in flu clinics set up.

Flu clinics in our area include:

Oneida County - Cost $25 per shot

*Utica, 406 Elizabeth St. Mondays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

*Rome, 300 W. Dominick St., Tuesdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Herkmer County - Cost $20 per shot

*Old Forge, Old Forge Fire Hall, 116 Fulton Street - Tuesday, November 20th from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Madison County - Cost Unspecified

*Wampsville, Madison County Health Dept. at 138 North Court Street, Friday, November 30th from 8:30 am to 11:30 am - Must call 366-2848 for information

Otsego County - $25

*New Lisbon, New Lisbon Nutrition Site, Wednesday, November 21st from 10:30 am to 11:30 am

What's On