New York – Flu and influenza-like illness have increased rapidly in the past two weeks, including 12 confirmed cases of the flu at Colgate University and 121 students with flu-like symptoms, the Madison County Health Department reported Friday. Health officials said they are working closely with Colgate to reduce the spread of flu on campus and in the local community, though flu activity does not currently appear to be widespread throughout the county.
“It is not time for us to let our defenses down. People who have not been vaccinated, particularly those who are considered at high-risk for complications from the flu, should be immunized,” said Eric Faisst, the health department’s director. Vaccinations can be given at any time during the flu season, but it takes about two weeks for immunity to provide protection. The flu season typically runs from November to April, so flu activity is expected for at least another month, health department officials said.
After a person has been infected with the virus, symptoms usually appear within one to four days. The infection is considered contagious for up to five days after symptoms appear and illness usually lasts for a week or two.