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Flu cases off to quicker start in Monroe County for 2017

In Monroe County, 97 cases of influenza have been confirmed through the Monroe County Department of Health as of December 9. (Courtesy: ABC)

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 13, 2017) – Although Monroe County is seeing a significant increase in flu cases compared to last year, experts say the peak is far away.

In Monroe County, 97 cases of influenza have been confirmed through the Monroe County Department of Health as of December 9.

That is compared to 14 cases at the same time in 2016.

In the last week, the number of confirmed cases in Monroe County have doubled.

As a result, health care workers who are not vaccinated against influenza are required to wear surgical or procedure masks when with patients.

Dr. Michael Mendoza, commissioner of Public Health in Monroe County, said this is all the more reason to get your flu shot.

"I would say now is the time to get the shot, because it can take up to two weeks for the shot to take its effect," Dr. Mendoza said. "If you think you have the flu, the first thing is to stay home. Don't go to school, don't go to work, do everything you can to prevent the spread of flu to other people."

One simple trick to help keep yourself healthy during the flu season is overstated and underrated: good handwashing.

The CDC recommends washing for 20 full seconds. That's the time it takes most people to say the alphabet.

More information about the flu and how it is monitored in New York can be found here.

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