New numbers from the New York State Department of Health are showing a 60% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza last week over the previous week. 

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to protect themselves and others by getting the flu shot as cases continue to climb statewide.

In a statement issued by the Governor’s office December 12, officials said there were 1,839 laboratory confirmed flu cases reported to the Department of Health.  That compares to about 735 cases the week before.

Even at this early stage of the flu season, State Health officials say there have been close to 5,000 confirmed cases reported with the number of New Yorkers sick enough to be hospitalized also going up by 32% from the previous report.

According the the Health Department Flu Tracker, Broome County had six cases of influenza reported for the week, 1 in Chenango and three each in Cortland and Tioga Counties.  Higher rates of flu were being reported east with 7 in Delaware County and 13 in Otsego County.

There has been one flu-associated death of a child in the state.

The New York Health Department recommends everyone six months of age or older receive a vaccination.  The shot is especially important for people over the age of 65, pregnant women and children under the age of two.