BURLINGTON -- For the first time this flu season, the Vermont Department of Health reported widespread influenza activity this week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with influenza-like illness confirmed in all areas of the state.
"Everyone age 6 months and older should be vaccinated against seasonal flu," said Patsy Kelso, state epidemiologist for infectious disease. "Flu can be a serious illness, especially for the very young and very old, and a typical season can last well into March."
Ask your health care provider for a flu vaccine, or get vaccinated at a local pharmacy. Vaccine is also available, by appointment, at no charge for children up through age 18 at the 12 Health Department district offices.
Take the following simple precautions to help keep illness from spreading:
-- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
-- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away.
-- Wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze.
-- Use alcohol-based hand wipes and gel sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
-- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
For more information visit healthvermont.gov. Follow the Health Department on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-date news, alerts and health information.