Sharp Increase in the Number Flu Cases and Hospitalizations Reported Across New York State
Older adults among those at greatest risk for serious complications from influenza
Find Locations Where You Can get the Flu Shot Near You Here
With the dramatic increase in the number of reported flu cases and hospitalizations across the state in recent weeks, the New York State Office for the Aging reminds older New Yorkers and caregivers about the importance of getting their flu vaccination as soon as possible. It’s not too late—flu season can extend as late as May.
“The best way to protect against the flu is to get an annual flu shot,” said Acting Director Greg Olsen. “Our immune systems are more easily compromised as we age, and older adults, especially those with chronic health conditions, have an increased risk of developing serious complications from the flu. Getting the flu vaccine helps prevent the spread of the virus and offers vital protection for older adults and their caregivers.”
Flu activity has been high this season and continues to increase. According to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), last week 1,964 New Yorkers were hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza, up 34 percent from the previous week. To date, there have been 5,694 flu-related hospitalizations. In addition, 10,085 laboratory-confirmed flu cases were reported to the State Department of Health last week, a nine-percent increase in cases from the week prior. There have been 32,848 lab-confirmed cases of the flu reported so far this season.
Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People infected with the flu may also have respiratory symptoms without a fever. The flu can cause mild to severe illness. Adults aged 65 years and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions, young children, and pregnant women are among those who are at highest risk.
Older adults often bear the greatest burden of severe flu consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in recent years between about 70% and 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among older adults.
According to the CDC, adults over the age of 65 should take the following precautions:
About the New York State Office for the Aging and Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly New York
New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continuously works to help New York State’s 4.3 million older adults be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them.
New York is nationally recognized for being the first age-friendly state in the nation. Using the state’s Prevention Agenda as the overarching framework, in 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a Health Across All Policies approach, where public and private partners work together to positively impact population health by marrying health care, preventive health, and community-design, in concert with addressing social determinants of health, to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, young and old.
Stay connected—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.
The Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Rebecca Preve has been appointed as Executive Director. Preve started in her new role January 6th at the not-for-profit membership organization, which provides leadership for New York's expansive aging services network to promote independence, preserve dignity and provide support for New York State residents as they age.
AgingNY Board of Directors President AnnMarie Maglione said, “The AgingNY Board is excited to continue the valuable work of the aging network under Becky’s leadership. Becky brings a wealth of knowledge and a commitment to the aging population that will benefit the residents of New York State. Her leadership will be instrumental in continuing to expand services and supports for the older population, their families and caregivers.”
New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, “I am thrilled that Becky has joined the Association. Her passion and knowledge of both the clinical and non-clinical environment make her the perfect choice to lead the aging network in this new environment that seeks to address the social determinants of health and expand value based payment arrangements to include the aging network, and further our first-in-the-nation efforts around business acumen to strengthen the connection between health and non-health organizations to better serve older New Yorkers.”
For the past six years, Becky Preve served as Director of the Franklin County Office for the Aging where she substantially increased revenue, expanded services to older residents and their families, and better connected various public and private systems and organizations to serve older New Yorkers more holistically. Her hard work helped save not only Franklin County but New York State money while improving outcomes for the customers they serve. Additionally, she has served as an acute care social worker at a rural northern New York hospital, and continues to hold numerous Board of Directors seats, including for the Hospice of the North County, Adirondack Health Institute, and the Joint Commission for Economic Opportunity. Preve received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, and has received Certification from the Institute for Health Care Improvement.
AgingNY provides advocacy and support for the state’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in strengthening and expanding long-term services and supports for older adults. By providing home and community-based services, AAAs work to make it possible for older adults to live with independence and dignity in their homes and communities of choice, often for much longer than would be possible without this assistance. AgingNY also provides professional development and educational opportunities through webinars, regional forums, in-person and online training, and a yearly leadership institute. Each year, AgingNY holds Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU), New York’s premiere professional development conference for aging service professionals. Now in its 24th year, ACUU is focused on best practices, innovative programs, and service delivery reforms that enhance services and programs for older adults and further New York’s State’s efforts to serve as the first age-friendly state in the nation.
New York State ranks fourth in the nation in regards to residents 60 or older, with 4.3 million people residing within it. It is estimated that by 2030, this population will grow to more than 5.3 million individuals, or 25 percent of the state’s population. Furthermore over the next decade, 52 of the state’s 62 counties are estimated to have populations consisting of at least 25 percent aged 60+. It has been estimated that 24 of these counties will have at least 30 percent of their population above age 60. As the aging population continues to grow, AgingNY, the state’s 59 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and the ever growing network of more than 1,200 aging services provider organizations are committed to supporting the changing demographics and evolving desires and needs of New York State’s older adults and their loved ones.
About the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY)
The Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) supports and advocates for New York's 59 mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works collaboratively with a network of organizations that exist to promote independence, preserve dignity, and provide support for residents of New York State as they age. For more information on AgingNY, visit www.agingny.org or call 518-449-7080.