Will New York’s Flu Season Be Bad? Early outbreaks raise ‘twindemic’ alarms

New York’s flu season is off to an alarming start after the flu virus all but disappeared last season amid COVID-19 restrictions, state data shows.

The number of flu cases this season was 1,585 after recent spikes in some counties, including outbreaks that may have been linked to Halloween parties on college campuses, according to a health official and state’s most recent data through Nov. 13.

In contrast, the number of flu cases was about 870 and 570 at the same point during the two flu seasons before the 2020-21 pandemic skewed season.

Syracuse University chancellor Kent Syverud spoke at a university Senate meeting on Wednesday about the rising flu threat on New York’s central campus, noting that the number of COVID-19 cases remained low at the college in Onondaga County.

Syverud told the Senate that “there is every indication that, unlike last year when the flu was at an all-time low due to COVID precautions, this year will be a challenging year for the flu,” the college reported.

The City of Perinton, New York and Wellness Programs with Value teamed up to host a flu shot clinic in September and October.

The return of the New York flu came as federal health officials descended on the University of Michigan, aiming to contain a flu outbreak of 528 cases on the Ann Arbor campus, USA TODAY Network reported.

dr. Joseph Sellers, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, said it’s too early to tell how bad New York’s flu season would get, but he urged people to get the flu shot based on the early statistics.

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