New York City Public Health officials, in collaboration with the CDC, issued a public health warning Friday evening. “We have a problem and we need a solution,” said NYC Public Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he does not feel comfortable traveling to JFK since there are a number of travelers known to have been infected in the past few days. He has said he will keep a closer watch on the situation. A news conference on Saturday will be held by CDC officials to outline the latest developments and offer further updates.
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A number of local physicians will be attending a national conference that will be held this weekend, and the New York Public Health Department is organizing a number of clinics to help treat and prevent potential influenza outbreaks. An advisory on the first night of the conference, which is slated for Thursday of this week, said, “We have confirmed that flu among travelers may be a particular health concern for these communities, so it’s vital that we keep travelers informed about possible concerns for their health,” according to the New York Times. For the rest of these communities, the health department said, “it will be more important to get residents and visitors at-home and avoid activities or gatherings where they are infectious. Some local public health agencies provide free flu vaccinations.”
At the conference, Dr. Barbara Newhouse will be giving a public health address about the case of a 28-year-old man who recently traveled from China to the U.S. (The CDC, as well as the federal government, state offices, and many local and state health departments and health departments are all being briefed on the case at this time.) Newhouse has spoken about the possibility – although not confirmed – of cases in New York and other cities. “There is a risk of the virus spreading to non-susceptible patients across the country,” said Newhouse during Tuesday’s press conference. “So if you’re visiting a stranger or someone in your care and you fall ill, you’re at a higher risk.”
New York Public Health officials are hoping to get an update on how prevalent the virus is in the Northeast at the CDC conference this weekend. New York City officials say they are seeing an increase in these infections reported from across the country. “The public health response to this epidemic, as we see it, is critical,” said Dr. Farley. “This is a significant public health issue.” If you or someone you know are concerned about having the flu, call the CDC, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, or your health care provider immediately. If you have been feeling a bit sick and you’ve been experiencing trouble breathing for whatever reason and, in addition, you were exposed to someone else with the flu, call your family physician about your symptoms immediately.
If you’re not sure what symptoms may indicate flu symptoms, ask your healthcare provider about taking a simple, quick test, like a blood or body cell test. If you’re sick, don’t drive or take public transportation, and don’t take anyone else with you. You can use Flu-Safe to help you stay healthy (and still get to work).
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