Flu activity in Vermont reaches "widespread" level
An update just rolled in from the Vermont Department of Health: The department has confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in all regions of the state, and increased levels of influenza-like illness are being reported in most regions. Vermont will report “widespread” influenza activity for the week ending Oct. 17 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most U.S. states (41) have already reported widespread activity levels.That "widespread" activity was slower to hit New England than other parts of the country.The increased activity level was based on influenza surveillance from provider offices, hospitals and schools statewide, as well as additional confirmed H1N1 samples at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory in Burlington. The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus continues to be the predominant type of flu circulating nationwide and in Vermont.Vermonters are urged to protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated against seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu — though, <a href="http://www.addisonindependent.com/200910vermont-clinics-hit-flu-vaccine-... to a delay in vaccine production</a href>, vaccination clinics scheduled at schools in Vermont will need to be postponed. The advice from the Department of Health runs along "common sense" lines when it comes to avoiding illness: Wash your hands often and well, cover your cough when you cough or sneeze, stay home from work or school and away from others when you are sick – for at least 24 hours after your fever has gone.