Going away this weekend? Local doctor offers tips to avoid getting the flu

Health Watch

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) – With a week-long break ahead, many Rochester families will head out of the region on vacation this weekend.

“You can assume that you’re going to be in contact with people with contagious illnesses,” said Dr. Richard Sullivan, a doctor with Rochester Regional Health. “So, you do the frequent hand-washing, consider wearing a mask to protect yourself.”

Last week, Monroe County recorded 668 new flu cases – an uptick of 49 from the week before. The numbers are from Sunday, February 2nd through Saturday, February 8th.

It’s been particularly bad for hospitals – Sullivan said he’s seen high wait times from packed local hospitals.

“Their waits are terrible,” Sullivan said. “I see people come in, after waiting in the emergency room for four to five hours, and they come in the next day. And they’re in and out of here in an hour.”

“This year the severity is really worse amongst the younger folks. They say, younger, under age 49. And less of a problem for the older folks,” added Sullivan.

“And I think it’s just because the older folks have better immunity. From having had the flu in the past, and having been ill in the past.”

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests several flu prevention techniques on their healthy habits web page, including getting a flu vaccine.

Sullivan tends to patients at several Immediate Care branches, including one in Webster.

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