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Flu on the decline, but the season is not over yet

The flu virus is still around, but the numbers are definitely on the decline.

The latest numbers just out from the Monroe County Health Department are for the week ending April 27.  They show 21 deaths so far this flu season, compared to 19 at this time last year.

Most of the deaths involve people 65 and over.

But the other numbers show a lot more activity last year, in what was generally recognized as a bad flu season, compared to his year.

Currently in Monroe County, there are 5,933 confirmed cases of influenza; that compares to 7,357 at this time last year. And the number of new cases has also been on the decline.

Last Friday, NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced that flu is no longer prevalent in New York State, although he cautioned that the season is not over yet.

Local hospitals have also lifted flu-related restrictions on visitors.

Federal officials have said that this has ended up being a relatively long flu season, mainly because two waves of flu viruses affected various parts of the country, one after the other.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.