New York Health Officials say influenza is prevalent now across the state, prompting a discussion on the December 23 edition of the weekly, local public affairs program Southern Tier Close Up.

Family Nurse Practitioner, Nahid Borogerdi, who operates a practice through Lourdes Ascension in Vestal, speaks on the program about just what flu is, how it is different from a cold, when the flu season runs and why health practitioners strongly push for residents to get the flu vaccination.

Borogerdi also provides an update from the Centers for Disease Control about vaccines for people with egg allergies.  Borogerdi says recent research has shown there isn't enough egg protein in the medium used to cultivate the vaccine to cause a reaction in most people.  She says, however, to be safe, people with an egg allergy should get their shot in a medical office where they can be briefly monitored.

Surprisingly, Borogerdi says the much publicized annual deaths attributed to the flu generally are the result of complications like pneumonia.

There are also ways everyone can avoid contact with both the flu virus and cold bacteria and viruses.

Residents are encouraged to contact their local health care provider with any questions or the Broome County Health Department or the CDC.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.