The number of people testing positive for the flu this winter has been rising rapidly in New York State and central New York. According to the state health department, more than 11,000 thousand cases of the flu were confirmed in the state during the week ending January 27, a 50 percent increase from the week before.
In Onondaga County, cases shot up to 270 cases from 189 the week before.
But doctors think things may soon start to improve.
Luis Castro is a physician at Primary Care West, which is affiliated with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. He thinks the flu situation now is as bad as it’s going to get.
“We’re definitely at peak with flu season. Onondaga County has highest rate of flu in the state. I would say the main thing is not to panic,” said Castro.
Castro said if you believe you have to flu, and are not in a high risk population due to age or medical conditions, make a trip to your primary care physician instead of an emergency room or urgent care facility.
“They can be seen, they can be treated much more efficiently and not obviously clog up the ER, where everyone around you is going to be sick, and you’re probably contributing to spreading the disease more.”
Emergency rooms at Syracuse hospitals have been busy with possible flu patients, and it’s caused some ambulance diversions. While individuals will be seen, it can cause back-ups in hospital while patients wait to be admitted.