Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Holding a briefing at the public safety training facility, Congressman Joe Morelle, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and the county’s health commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza, wanted to get across that they are closely monitoring the situation with the coronavirus and the need to make preparations. But they also note we’ve had no local cases so far.

On Sunday night, New York state officials confirmed the first person in the state to test positively for the coronavirus. A statement Sunday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran. A state official says she is currently self-quarantined in her Manhattan home. The statement says she is not in serious condition.

New England Journal of Medicine

One person in Monroe County is under “voluntary quarantine” for novel coronavirus surveillance after returning from China, public health commissioner Michael Mendoza said Tuesday.

The person has not shown any symptoms, but entered quarantine at home after arriving in Monroe County on Saturday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two people died of the flu in the latest week of statistics released by the Monroe County public health department.

Both deaths were people older than 75, according to the report, which runs through Jan. 25. They bring the total death toll of this flu season to four.

The Monroe County Health Department has reported the second death related to the flu this season.

The first one was reported last October, and involved a child under 4 years old.

The latest death was revealed in a weekly report from the health department which said the death involved someone between 75 and 84 years old.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There's something unusual in this year's flu season. Influenza A, the strain of the virus that's typically most common at this point in the year, is instead proving rare in the Rochester area, and influenza B, which often waits for later months to strike, is responsible for the vast majority of recent cases. 

In Monroe County, influenza B comprises more than 80% of the confirmed cases this flu season.

Monroe County Public Health Department and University of Rochester Medical Center Center for Community Health & Prevention

The University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health both announced that they will begin restricting visitors to their hospitals now that the number of flu cases in Monroe County has more than doubled in the last week.

Monroe County also has the highest number of reported flu cases in the state outside of the New York City metro area, according to the state health department.

New York State Department of Health

The annual declaration from health authorities that the flu is prevalent in New York state kicked off a series of rules for hospitals and nursing homes.

People who work in health care and are not vaccinated now need to wear surgical masks around patients.

Also, hospitals and nursing homes need to keep track of the number of workers who are unvaccinated and report that data to state authorities.

freeimages.com/Mark Csabai

A child under 4 years old has died of the flu in Monroe County, becoming the first fatality of this year's flu season.

The death, reported in the county's weekly flu surveillance information, happened sometime between Oct. 1 and Oct. 19.

County public health commissioner Michael Mendoza confirmed the death, but said the county cannot share any more information about the child.

Flu season is usually most active from November through April, but this year, doctors said, it's arrived early.


Researchers at the University of Rochester said that they have found links between environmental toxins and weakened immune systems that get passed down from generation to generation.

Paige Lawrence, who runs a lab in the environmental medicine department at the University of Rochester, said the results of the study, published this month in the journal iScience, could help explain why some people are more vulnerable to the flu than others.

The project started with mice. 

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.