Amid the state’s worst flu season in 10 years, city health officials are urging New Yorkers to get flu shots and stay home if they have the virus.
Amid the state’s worst flu season in 10 years, city health officials are urging New Yorkers to get flu shots and stay home if they have the virus. (iStock)

The day after an 8-year-old girl from Queens died from flu-related symptoms during the state’s worst flu season in more than a decade, New York City health officials urged residents to get flu shots — and stay home if they are sick.

 

“If you are sick with the flu, avoid contact with others and stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “The flu shot is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your neighbors against the influenza virus.”

 

Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas also reminded New Yorkers they have the right to sick leave. Businesses “legally have to provide sick leave,” she said. “Workers whose employers don’t provide sick leave, or employers with questions about how to comply, should contact us by calling 311 or visit nyc.gov/PaidSickLeave.”

 

According to the website, if residents work more than 80 hours a year for an employer that has five or more employees, they can earn up to 40 hours of sick leave each year.

 

“New Yorkers don’t have to choose between their paycheck and caring for themselves or their loved ones if they have the flu — they have the right to sick leave,” Salas added.

New York is experiencing its worst flu season in 10 years and saw a 50 percent increase in confirmed flu cases and a 21 percent jump in hospitalizations over the past week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week. There are more than 36,800 confirmed flu cases overall.

The Health Department on Tuesday also confirmed that 8-year-old Amely Baez of Queens died Monday from flu-related symptoms, the day after she was diagnosed with the virus. Baez’s death was the second pediatric death of the 2018 flu season, officials said.