NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you haven’t already, health officials are urging people to get their flu shot – as the dangerous illness has already begun to sweep across New York.

New York State health officials say the flu is now widespread in the area.

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They added there are confirmed cases in 42 counties across the state and in all five boroughs of New York City.

There are nearly 700 people who have reportedly been hospitalized this season and there has also been one flu-related infant death.

“Over the last three seasons, there have been 20 flu-associated pediatric deaths in New York and an average of 18,352 flu-related hospitalizations each flu season.  Flu season occurs primarily from October through May,” the New York State Department of Health said in a statement Thursday.

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Health Department workers recommend everyone six months and older get the flu shot each year.

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