Season’s First Flu Cases Confirmed in 2 Counties

For immediate release:
January 15, 2003
News Media Contact:
Corbett Sionainn

Burlington—The Vermont Department of Health has confirmed the first Vermont case of Type A influenza (flu) in Orleans County and the first Vermont case of Type B influenza in Windsor County. Both cases were in young adults.

“Although the flu season has now started, there is still time for Vermonters to be vaccinated if they aren’t already,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Ann Fingar.

In Vermont, the flu season generally continues into April. People interested in getting flu shots should contact their family doctor for more information.

It takes approximately two weeks for the immunization to take effect and provide protection against influenza so it is important for people to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Vaccination is strongly recommended for: people aged 65 years or older; people aged 6 months to 64 years with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, cancer, or HIV/AIDS; healthy children aged 6 months to 23 months; and household contacts of those previously mentioned.

Influenza is caused by a virus that is spread from person to person and is highly contagious. Illness often includes fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches that last for a week or longer. Children can also experience fever and vomiting. Influenza can cause serious complications such as pneumonia, especially in the elderly or in people with chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.