Health department warns of lingering flu season

Local News

It may be getting warmer outside, but the flu is still circulating in Vermont and around the country. In fact, the CDC said this year is a record long flu season.

There have been 21 straight weeks of elevated flu activity, which is one week more than the previous high of 20 weeks, back in the 2014-2015 season.

While it’s the longest stretch of flu activity, it doesn’t mean it was necessarily more severe. Jennifer Pistole, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Vermont Health Department said in terms of severity, this was a typical season in Vermont, with less hospitalizations than last flu season, which was the deadliest in 4 decades.

The season started out with the H1N1 strain. Halfway through the season, a second wave of flue called H3N2 became more prominent and is more severe in people over 65.

Pistole said the number of positive cases is going down.

“There is still flu out there, especially in Vermont, we are still getting positive tests back from our state lab,” Pistole said. “We’re starting to see a decrease in general. While it’s been above baseline for 21 weeks, the numbers are going down.”

While the flu is still lingering, health officials say it’s important to stay home if you’re sick and to continue washing your hands.

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