Rockville Centre hospitals see influenza spike
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Oceanside and the surrounding communities have seen a spike in influenza cases and influenza-like illnesses, said Dr. Joshua Kugler, Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital and Chairman of the Nassau County Regional Emergency Medical Service Committee.
According to Kugler, influenza like illness share some of the same symptoms as the flu, such as headache, fever and running nose, but they don’t test positive for the influenza virus.
“Both of these are much higher this time of year than they have been in the past decade,” Kugler explained. “There are several reasons and the epidemiologists look back and try to find out why were are seeing it earlier.”
Kugler said that groups of people cohorted, or grouped together inside could make it easier for the virus to spread.
This year’s vaccine for the influenza virus is very effective, Kugler said, adding that the epidemiologists did a good job predicting the types of flue that would be affecting this region.
“It is genetically very appropriate for the flu that we are seeing,” Kugler said. “It’s protecting against two-thirds of the flu or flu-like illnesses. It mitigates the effects, depending on the prior health of the person.”
Kugler added that it is important that more people get vaccinated, because it makes it less likely that the virus will spread throughout the community. He said that if you are 6 months or older and don’t have very specific reasons, like an allergy, you should get a vaccination. Kugler also advised to stay at home when sick, and keep good hygiene in mind.