NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is a call for federal help to help fight the flu in New York.
Senator Charles Schumer wants the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to send a flu surveillance team to New York as the number of cases continues to increase.
The number of flu cases is up more than 50-percent in just one week. That troubling statistic comes from Sen. Schumer, who says the epidemic is growing and New York now needs federal help to deal with it.
Scientists say this strain of flu is more vicious and more contagious than they have seen in years.
At least half a dozen school districts have had to shut down and in many places, hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed.
Here in New York, 1,800 people were hospitalized with flu just last week.
There are 25,000 cases of the flu reported so far this year. Thousands more are believed to be going unreported.
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The senator is asking the CDC to send a surveillance team here to help pinpoint clusters and direct resources to help manage the epidemic.
"I'm asking the CDC to immediately designate a special domestic flu surveillance team for New York to hone in on the virus, see which strains are affecting which people, and augment the great work of our local hospitals and health departments," Sen. Schumer said.
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Fortunately, there is no shortage so far of anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu, and no shortage of the vaccine.
Anyone who has not yet had the vaccine is urged to get it.
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Senator Schumer calls for CDC to send flu surveillance team to New York