Health officials say it’s not too late to get your flu shot

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BURLINGTON, VT – According to the CDC, millions of Americans have had the flu from October 1st to January 4th of 2020. The CDC also states there have been an estimated 4,800-12,000 deaths from the flu in the U.S during that time.

Cindy Noyes is an Infectious Disease Physician at UVM Medical Center who says the strain of the virus and the flu season in general varies from year to year.

“The one thing that is sort of predictable about influenza is that it is unpredictable,” said Noyes.

CDC national data shows that the flu has increased rapidly this year. It also shows that influenza season started earlier this year in parts of the country and there is currently a high peak of influenza activity.

Vermont State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso said the different strains of the virus make it challenging to treat. This season, the U.S is seeing more of what’s called Influenza B as oppose to Influenza A. Influenza A is more common in most flu seasons. Kelso said Influenza B can be more dangerous for children.

“So, we will see more outbreaks in schools or child care centers with Influenza B than we will in places like long-term care facilities,” said Kelso.

Dr. Noyes explained how it’s unusual to see cases of Influenza B early on in the flu season in Vermont.

“At least locally in our community we are seeing equal numbers of Influenza A and Influenza B which is not typical,” said Noyes.

According to Noyes, UVM Medical Center usually sees Influenza B towards the end of the flu season around March or April.

However, experts are seeing more flu activity each and every week in the green mountain state and they want to remind everyone to get their flu shot.

“It is not too late to get the vaccine, get it today get it tomorrow flu season lasts into April in this area,” said Noyes.

For more information on surveillance data in Vermont click here.

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