Health officials urge community to get flu vaccine, as Ithaca College reports 25 confirmed cases of flu

January 30, 2014

Ithaca College's Hammond Health Center says they "have had 25 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza" this week, and IC officials are urging students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are available to members of both Ithaca College and Cornell University campuses at no charge, and are also widely available throughout the community.

Ithaca College is holding a walk-in flu vaccine clinic today at the Hammond Health Center from 2-4pm, open to all students, faculty, and staff. College community members may also call 607-274-3177 to schedule a vaccination.

Cornell University similarly offers vaccinations on campus, both through traditional injection and nasal mist. Campus community members can call 607-255-5155 to schedule a vaccination.

The Tompkins County Department of Health has been offering daily walk-in flu vaccine clinics from 11am-1pm, Monday through Friday, at 55 Brown Road. These clinics are scheduled through January 31st. Pharmacies including Target and Rite Aid also offer walk-in flu vaccines. In many cases, the vaccine is covered by health insurance.

Cases of influenza have been reported in 55 of 57 counties in New York State as of earlier this month, as well as in all five boroughs of New York City. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says the H1N1 (swine flu) strain of influenza virus has especially been circulating this season. The 2009 H1N1 virus is included in this year's vaccine, along with H3N2 and influenza B strains.

"Get vaccinated, wash your hands frequently, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay home if you’re sick," says Karen Bishop, community health nurse supervisor for the Tompkins County health department.

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