Vermont reporting lower level of flu activity than other states

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont health officials say they're seeing relatively low flu activity so far this year, especially compared to nearby states.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine says the CDC analyzes the amount of activity in each state on a weekly basis during flu season. He says most of the country is showing up as "widespread," but Vermont currently falls under "regional," which is less severe than widespread. Levine says flu activity is widespread in all of our neighboring states.

"It's very hard to project. What we can do is sort of look at the experience of the southern hemisphere from last season and look in other states and see how that's working out there. Other states are reporting pretty significant activity so I'm not sure we should think Vermont will forever be sheltered from that," Levine said.

Levine is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine. He says health officials have identified three strains of the flu so far and the majority of them are a good match with the vaccine. He also says even if the shot is only 50 to 60 percent effective, that's enough to either completely prevent the flu or decrease the duration and intensity of the illness.