BURLINGTON, Vt. -
Two dozen cases of influenza have been confirmed at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. But what makes this a different kind of flu season is the strain.
In the lab at Fletcher Allen Health Care, more than 30 flu-related samples were tested this weekend alone. 24 cases have tested positive there since December 22nd.
Dawn LeBaron, VP of Hospital Services at Fletcher Allen, said, "We've started to see a little bit of an increase in the positive test results. We're not seeing anything hugely more dramatic than we've seen in the past. I think the difference is that it's the H1N1 strain."
This is the first time since 2009, H1N1 has even been a factor. Since the so-called “Swine Flu” outbreak 5 years ago, the standard flu vaccine protects against H1N1.Young people are the most vulnerable.
"We want to watch it very, very carefully so that we can be proactive in the way that we're responding to an increased volume if that does occur,” said LeBaron.
25 states across the country have reported widespread flu activity, H1N1 as the most predominant strain.
Vermont is still categorized as “local,” which means the flu is sporadic, but not yet a widespread problem.
Different story in New York, where conditions are already widespread.
There is still time to get the shot.
"That is our biggest weapon in the fight against the spread of influenza: to be vaccinated, but also then to stay away from people, so you're not giving it to somebody else,” said LeBaron.
A few people have been hospitalized at Fletcher Allen because of the flu.
Remember, symptoms include fever, cough and runny nose.