Health officials urge residents to get flu shot after some cases spotted in NYC

Posted: Updated:

Sneezing, coughing, stuffy – it’s the season where everyone seems to get sick.

Health officials say there's already been some cases of the flu spotted around the five boroughs.

Doctors at Maimonides Medical Center are urging people to get their flu shot. Especially elderly, children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

"The flu can kill people. The flu shot, other than a sore arm and a little ache, doesn’t have any ill effects on people," says Edward Chapnick, director of the infectious disease unit.

However, some people might be uncertain of the vaccine's benefits.

"People think that the flu shot can give them the flu and it's important to know that’s really impossible because what's in the flu shot is really just a piece of the virus it's not the virus itself,” says Chapnick.

Chapnick says viruses transmit better in cold weather especially when people are inside with doors and windows closed. He adds there's a big difference between the flu and the common cold.

“I don't mean, just feeling a little tired, I mean so fatigued that one can't go through the normal daily activities. It generally includes high fever, severe body aches,” says Chapnick.

The vaccine is generally covered by most insurance.

"It's much cheaper for the insurance companies to prevent a case of the flu, than it is to treat someone that has the flu, which can often lead to hospitalization in some cases,” says Chapnick.

Health professionals recommend using hand sanitizer frequently to prevent the spread of illness.

"Contrary to popular belief, kissing does not transmit the common cold, but certainly touching something that has the cold and then touching your eyes and nose does transmit,” says Chapnick.

Chapnick believes your best plan of attack is getting immunized, especially since the Health Department is already seeing cases of influenza.

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