Flu Prompts State Public Health Emergency

By Brandi Bailey

January 12, 2013 Updated Jan 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared the State of New York in a Public Health Emergency in response to the already severe flu season.

To help curtail further outbreak, Cuomo also issued an Executive Order that allows pharmacists to administer flu shots to anyone between the ages of six months and 18 years.

More than 19,000 cases of the flu have already been reported in New York this season, and two children have died as a result of the flu, according to a news release issued by the governor.

Cuomo is strongly urging New Yorkers who haven't gotten the flu shot to do so immediately.

Residents are asked to contact their doctors office or local pharmacy about getting the vaccine. Cuomo says it's not too late, as the flu season often stretches into the early spring.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, headache, cough and sore throat.

It's recommended that anyone with these symptoms to call their doctor before heading to the hospital to prevent overcrowding.

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