WATCH: NY Department of Health laboratory monitors the flu virus

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The New York State Department of Health examines the flu virus ahead of this season' s influenza outbreak. Screenshot NYSDOH YouTube channel
The New York State Department of Health examines the flu virus ahead of this season' s influenza outbreak.

This weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for all of New York state, which allows pharmacists to give flu vaccinations to patients between six months and 18 years of age.

There are already 19,128 cases of flu reported in the state this season, more than the 4,404 positive laboratory tests that were reported during last year’s influenza season.

According to the New York State Department of Health (DOH), as of January 5, there have been reports of 2,884 patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza and two children have died of the flu in the state. In 2011 there were only 1,169 total hospitalizations.

Here’s a look into the┬álaboratory at the New York State Department of Health, where efforts are underway to reduce and monitor the effects of this season’s flu.