NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Flu numbers are out and they’re increasing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports high activity in our area.
For the week ending Dec. 29, flu activity in New Jersey is listed as high and widespread.
New York City is also high, but the state as a whole is moderate.
The CDC’s “flu view” map is based on outpatient visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness.
In total, 19 states are experiencing high flu activity.
“It is ramping up quickly,” said Dr. Nicholas Genes with Mount Sinai Hospital.
At least 13 children in the U.S. have died from the flu this season. Allison, who lived in Montana, died on Dec. 1
“This illness hit her really hard and really fast. For it to just take her life, nothing prepares you for how fast it moves,” said Allison’s mother Crystal White Shield.
While Allison had mild asthma, about half of children who die from the flu are otherwise healthy, according to the CDC.
Dr. Genes says it’s important to get vaccinated.
“It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine, and if you are coming down with flu like symptoms like fever, body aches – isolate yourself. Take time off work and drink plenty of fluids,” Dr. Genes said.
He also says people should skip the ER and doctor’s if you can.
“The emergency department is not a great place to get care for flu, because you could be exposed to a lot of other things,” he said.
Dr. Genes suggests using telemedicine.
“We can diagnose and treat through video chat,” he said.
Two influenza associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC last week.