The New York State Department of Health reported Thursday the influenza epidemic continued to increase over the past week, with nearly 12,000 confirmed flu cases and over 2200 New Yorkers hospitalized with influenza. That’s a 50% increase in confirmed cases and a 21% Increase in hospitalizations since last week making it again the highest weekly numbers in both categories since reporting began in 2004. Last week Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18.