NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants the federal government to help his home state tackle the flu fight.

The New York Democrat announced his request to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday.

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“A New York specific flu surveillance team would help take the state’s temperature on the epidemic and help break its fever,” Schumer said in the release. “With record-setting highs this season, it’s absolutely critical that New York have the resources it needs to track the flu’s path, gather intelligence and combat this powerful virus.”

He says a surveillance team could help local health care workers and state health officials by studying the spread of the illness, identifying the particular strains involved, and assessing the impact on the state’s overall population.

The senior senator says a CDC team could help the state “break its fever” by assisting the public health efforts already underway in the state.

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According to Schumer’s office more than 5,200 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with the flu this season and the number of new cases went up by 54 percent last week.

“New York State officials are working diligently around the clock and performing extraordinary well given these difficult circumstances. However, given the unprecedented nature of this flu season, I am requesting that you send in a CDC flu surveillance team to collect and analyze additional data on how best to target the flu in New York, and coordinate with New York State and New York City officials to provide them with all federal resources they need to combat this flu epidemic,” Schumer wrote in a letter to CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald. “It is imperative that we commit all and every available resource to combat and mitigate the widespread effect of the flu on New Yorkers this season.”

In the letter, Schumer also caked on the CDC to release an additional list of activities that the CDC and the “broader administration” can take in future years to prevent the flu, and recommendations for any efforts Congress can take to add to federal and state flu prevention efforts.

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