For Immediate Release: Oct. 21, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health 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 October 17 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most U.S. states (41) have already reported widespread activity levels.
New England is among the last regions in the country to report widespread activity, with all but New Hampshire reporting “regional” activity for the week ending Oct. 10.
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.
The Health Department continues to urge Vermonters to take the necessary precautions to keep illness from spreading:
- 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.
The Health Department continues to encourage Vermonters to protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated against seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu.
Due to a delay in vaccine production announced last week, the scheduled school-based 2009 H1N1 vaccination clinics for children will need to be adjusted in the coming weeks.
“A number of school-based clinics will be postponed and pushed back into November and we are asking Vermonters to be patient as we work through the delay,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD.
Some parents may choose to have their child vaccinated by their usual health care provider. The 2009 H1N1 vaccine may or may not be available at provider offices. Please check with your local provider for vaccine supply, as the Health Department has planned for a variety of avenues for school-aged children to receive vaccine.
“The delay is challenging, but we have to stay focused on protecting as many people as possible from becoming ill in the coming weeks,” Dr. Davis said.
Extensive information, tools and resources about seasonal and pandemic flu, healthy habits and preparedness are available at the Health Department’s website: healthvermont.gov or dial 2-1-1. You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/healthvermont.