County health officials warn about flu season

— As New York state continues to deal with a flu outbreak, Essex County Public Health officials said they are ready to help with vaccinations and medical assistance.

“All hospitals in Essex County are showing a higher-than-average number of visits for the chief complaint of respiratory and fever symptoms,” Sue Allott said during the Jan. 14 Human Services Committee meeting. “Pharmacies are recording above-average sales of influenza-related medications. Gov. Cuomo declared the state a disaster emergency because of the numbers of the flu.”

Allott said that the county does have a strong supply of flu vaccinations, and more were on the way, adding that she was not concerned that there could be a shortage of vaccinations.

“We are not hearing the term shortage,” she said. “I do not see that we are going to be where we were in 2005 when there was a shortage of vaccines.”

Schroon Supervisor Michael Marnell asked about those who feel they do not need a flu shot or feel that the shot may make them sick.

“The flu that you get will be milder symptoms, fewer hospitalizations, fewer days missed from work,” Allott said. “You cannot get the flu from a flu shot.”

Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee added that flu vaccinations are also available to veterans at both the Westport and Saranac Lake VA Clinics.

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