Flu Spreading in Localized Areas, Not Epidemic

02/26/02 12:00AM



(Host) Although it may seem like everyone you know has the flu, the Vermont Health Department says it's not that bad of a year.

The department says 13 flu cases were confirmed last week, with 56 cases found for the season. Doctor Ann Fingar is the state epidemiologist:

(Fingar) "So we're having some influenza or influenza-like illness and it's in areas of state that covers less than 50% of the state's population. If more people were affected, then the activity would be considered widespread. So at this point, we're just considering it regional¿. And this is my first year in Vermont. However, the folks that have been here quite a bit longer than I - this is either an average or ¿ actually less, having fewer cases at this point in the year."

(Host) Physicians who confirm flu cases are required to report that to the state. Ten out of the state's 14 counties have reported flu cases.

The Health Department says the number of confirmed cases represents a small proportion of the total. It says most cases are treated without being confirmed by lab results.

The Department also doesn't keep track of all the other colds and viruses that are going around this winter.

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