Vermont’s Flu Season has Officially Started
DATE: January 13, 2006
Contact: Communication Office
BURLINGTON - The Vermont Department of Health today confirmed a case of Type A influenza in Windham County, the first confirmed case this year.
The flu season typically begins each year in December or January, and may continue through April. Last year, the first confirmed case was in early December.
Flu symptoms include fever (usually high), headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body or muscle aches. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are symptoms that can occur but are more common among children than adults.
The Health Department is encouraging all Vermonters to limit the spread of influenza by taking common-sense precautions such as staying home from work if you are ill, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Other actions everyone can take to stay healthy and keep illness from spreading:
- wash your hands well and often with soap and water
- use a hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available
- keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth so that germs don’t have a way in
If you’re sick:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue every time you sneeze or cough
- put the tissue into the trash
- wash your hands with soap and water
- stay home
Unlike the common cold, influenza can be life-threatening. Each year over 36,000 people in the U.S. die from complications of the flu.
A flu shot in the fall is still the single best way to prevent becoming sick.
“The flu may have been a bit late arriving this year, but it is not too late to get a shot this season. Everyone who wants to be vaccinated should be able to by contacting their physician’s office,” said Dr. Cort Lohff, state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health. “Seniors, young children, pregnant women, health care workers and anyone with serious chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes or asthma should get vaccinated.”
Although the first confirmed case was from a provider office in Windham county, it is likely there are additional flu cases in other areas of Vermont.
For questions about influenza, visit the Health Department’s website at Healthvermont.gov.
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