For Immediate Release: January 30 , 2007
Contact: Communication Office
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health has confirmed the first two cases of influenza this season. The cases were diagnosed in Windsor County on January 26 and Orange County on January 29.
Vermont is the last state in the nation to report a laboratory-confirmed case of influenza. Flu season typically begins in December or January and may continue through April. Last year the first confirmed case was on January 12.
“Although the first confirmed case was from a provider office in Windsor County, it is likely there are – and have been – additional flu cases in other areas of Vermont,” said Cort Lohff, MD, state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health.
Flu season is inevitable and Vermonters should take every precaution to avoid getting sick or spreading the flu to other people. Actions that 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 to avoid germs.
“And, if you haven’t had your flu shot yet, it may not be too late to get one,” said Dr. Lohff.
If you do get 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 from school or work or public places.
Flu symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are symptoms that can occur but are more common among children than adults.
Every flu season 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu. Older people, young children, and people with chronic health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications. 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.
For questions about influenza, visit the Health Department’s website at healthvermont.gov.