The weather in Western New York has given us some serious challenges over the last few weeks. From blizzards to flood warnings, it has been anything but good. Buffalo Bills fans were treated to sunshine this past weekend and it was the first "sunny day" in months! Feeling blah? You are not alone.

Post COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like we are all more germ aware. I wouldn't go as far as to say that we are germ freaks. But it does seem like we are trying, as a whole, to know more about how to prevent the spread of germs and stay germ free.

But, year after year, the flu makes it's way into our homes. This year is off to a start with no exceptions. According to reports, the flu is back with a vengeance in some portions of Western New York. According to the updated New York State Flu Tracker, 100 Erie County residents contracted the illness between December 31st and January 7th. Niagara County had the second-highest number of new infections in that same time period with 20.

An annual flu vaccine is recommended for almost everyone 6 months and older. It is one of the best ways to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations and death from flu. This fall and winter, the flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 may both be spreading. Vaccination is the best defense against both COVID-19 and the flu. Both vaccines are necessary to help people stay healthy and to avoid added stress to our health care system.

The colder weather is expected to return to Western New York in the next few days. No doubt the colds and coughs will be back with it!

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**NOTE: These pictures were not taken at the venues and do not represent the venue itself.**

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