New York State declares influenza emergency

People line up behind a sign advising people against the flu outbreak at a pharmacy in New York 10 January 2013 The US is in the midst of the worst flu outbreak in years

Related Stories

The governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, has declared a public health emergency because of the severity of this year's influenza season.

The order makes vaccinations more accessible and allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children.

Almost 20,000 cases of flu have been reported in New York state so far this season - more than four times the number of cases last winter.

The flu outbreak has reached epidemic proportions across the US.

Last week 7.3% of US deaths were caused by pneumonia and the flu, just above epidemic threshold, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu activity was widespread in 47 states, up from 41 the week before.

Experts recommend flu vaccines, which have been found to be 62% effective.

The 2012-13 flu season is said to have started earlier than usual, with many cases of the H3N2 strain, which can be severe.

Some analysts say the latest numbers suggest the worst of the season may have passed.

The only states without widespread flu were California, Hawaii and Mississippi.

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, body ache and fatigue.

Severe cases could see vomiting and diarrhoea or develop into pneumonia. Many cases are much milder.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • UnderwaterHidden depths

    How do you explore the bottom of the ocean? BBC Future finds out

Programmes

  • The challenge is to drop a bottle of water within 100 metres of this dummyClick Watch

    The race to get water – transported by drone – to a man stuck in remote Australia

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.