Local News

January 14, 2013

North Country flu cases on the rise

Annual infection hitting unusually hard in North Country


“The staff here have been phenomenal about handling the extra patients,” she said. “They’ve taken on the challenge, but we are at our best when facing these challenges.”

Laurie Williams, coordinator of Health Education for the Clinton County Health Department, said her office continues to monitor the flu situation county wide but noted that no specific areas seem to be more impacted than others.

“Once the flu is in a community, public health looks at it as being here,” she said. “Whether it’s impacting one percent of the population or 10 percent, we still count it as being in the community and continue monitoring for our on-going assessment.”

The Health Department makes regular contact with area schools, who have noted higher numbers of absences since students returned to school from the holiday vacation, but no districts have reported anything of major concern, Williams noted.

Health officials continue to stress the need for prevention.


At Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, Infectious Preventionist Mim Millar, RN, said her region has only seen one or two confirmed cases of influenza admitted to the hospital, which also covers Tupper Lake and Lake Placid areas. 

“Admittedly this is an oasis in all this (flu cases) but we did a lot of education in 2009 and 2010 in that flu pandemic and I am hoping this (low cases confirmed) is a result of that education,” she said. “I want to emphasize that anybody who hasn’t had a flu shot should get one now and people should wash their hands, wash their hands, wash their hands. It cannot be said enough.”


There has been a significant increase in flu cases at Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone.

“We have had numerous admissions through the Emergency Department and our clinics,” said Sharon Martin, RN, who is in charge of Infection Prevention Control in Malone. “But we do have plenty of vaccine in stock for anyone who hasn’t had a flu shot.” 

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