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Flu cases down in 11 NYS counties but there's still an overall increase

BATH, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - It's been a severe flu season, but some areas across the country are reporting dwindling numbers including some New York counties.

The flu is still widespread in New York but 11 counties experienced a slight decline according to Steuben County Public Health. 

This is for the week ending February 10 which Steuben County says is the latest information from the state's department of health. Despite these 11 counties being down, there was still a seven percent increase overall for New York compared to the week prior.

The counties include Cayuga, Columbia, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Hamilton, Orleans, Orange, Putnam, Seneca, and Ulster.

At this time in the season, Influenza B is starting to increase over Influenza A which is just a different strain of the flu, but Darlene Smith, Steuben County's public health director, says this is typical. 

"It's not necessarily a bad thing because the Flu B tends to respond better to the vaccination itself over Flu A, so even though we're starting to see an increase in Flu B, it's not alarming," Smith said. "It's normal and it responds better, so that's good too."

Despite March approaching, Smith says it's not too late to get the flu shot and that it's still beneficial to get it even up until June just before it expires. 

There have been 254 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu in Steuben County so far this season which is significantly higher than previous years.

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