Immediate Release: January 23, 2008
Contact: Communication Office
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health reported the first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza in the state on Friday, January 18.
“The first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza does not mean that the flu has not been present in our state before now,” said Cort Lohff, MD, state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health. “Flu season is inevitable. Vermonters should take every precaution to avoid getting sick or spreading the flu to other people. And it is not too late to get your flu shot.”
Actions that everyone can take to prevent themselves from getting the flu are:
- If you have not done so yet, get a flu shot.
- 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.
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.
The flu season typically begins in October and end by April of the following year. 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, approximately 36,000 people in the U.S. die from complications of the flu.
For questions about influenza, visit the Health Department’s web site at healthvermont.gov.