It's back. Flu season has arrived in our region with health officials now reporting an uptick in activity within the past week.
Vermonters have been gearing up for weeks rolling up their sleeves for flu shots in anticipation of the annual onslaught of illness, better known as flu season, but doctors now say the wait is over.
"Clearly flu season is here," said Dr. Christopher Grace, UVM Medical Center.
The Vermont Health Department is reporting sporadic activity around the state. It is only reportable in children, so the state's numbers are not an exact count, but at the University of Vermont Medical Center, they are.
"In terms of the reporting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health, there's usually a two-week lapse so it doesn't look, so if you look at the CDC website it doesn't look like much, but we clearly have taken off about a week ago with positive tests every day, now admissions to the hospital. So it is happening," said Grace.
At least one of those admitted with the flu went to the intensive care unit. Grace says the majority of confirmed cases have been an A strain, H3N2, with cases climbing a little earlier than usual.
"All we have so far is that it's the type which is usually a little bit more serious than the H1N1, but that's all we know," said Grace.
Grace says doctors at UVM have also confirmed a host of other respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a little earlier than usual. As for a flu forecast...
"It is here and I suspect that it will continue to tick up for the next three, four, five weeks and then slowly taper off. That would be a stereotypical season, but it is hard to predict," said Grace.
Hard to predict, but it's here. The arrival of flu season each year in our region. One of the few guarantees when it comes to influenza.
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