Updated: 12/26/2013 5:26 PM
Created: 12/26/2013 12:47 PM WHEC.com
By: Chalonda Roberts
Have you had your flu shot yet? The number of flu cases is on the rise in Monroe County and according to the Center for Disease Control, the same thing is happening nationally. Doctors say this is just the beginning. Flu season typically lasts until early Spring.
If you didn't get a flu shot in the fall, it's not too late. Doctors warn that getting one will not only help protect yourself, but you will also help protect other people.
Dr. Linda Clark practices preventive medicine in Rochester. She says we are on target for the number of cases of the flu in Monroe County because this is the time of the year when we start to see a rise in the infection.
Dr. Linda Clark said, "We've seen a lot of influenza like illnesses. I have not done any viral swabs to test for flu, but certainly, when I work over in urgent care. we see a lot of respiratory illnesses this time of year.”
With flu season ramping up, Dr. Clark, the Monroe County Department of Health and the Commissioner of Health for New York State is encouraging flu vaccinations.
Dr. Clark said, “Not only to protect them, but to protect other people.”
Dr. Clark says the state health commissioner declared the flu widespread throughout the state and introduced a mandate last week requiring staff at hospitals and other health facilities to protect themselves and patients against the flu.
Dr. Clark said, “The employees there are now required to be immunized or wear a mask so you may go to the emergency room and see your doctor or the nurse wearing a mask if they weren't immunized against the flu and that is to protect the public.”
Dr. Clark says she has seen a lot of respiratory illnesses when she works at a local urgent care. She advises anyone six months and older who has not gotten a flu shot this season should get one now.
To find where you can get a flu shot, click here.