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More H1N1 Cases Confirmed In Vermont

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Vermont Department of Health is reporting six new confirmed cases of novel H1N1 influenza today — an increase consistent with a steady rise in the number of test samples submitted to the Health Department Laboratory.

A total of 14 Vermont residents have tested positive for the virus to date. None of the individuals were hospitalized and all have recovered or are recovering at home.

Cases to date have been confirmed in five counties: Rutland (5) Chittenden (5), Windsor (2), Franklin (1) and Orleans (1).

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as of June 3, is reporting 11,054 confirmed human cases of novel H1N1 virus in the United States, with 17 deaths reported. Cases are from every state.

“We are fortunate that the new flu circulating in Vermont is behaving much like the regular seasonal influenza, and causing relatively mild illness,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “We know it’s here, so we are shifting away from a focus on the case counts. We continue to ask Vermonters to take everyday actions to keep illness from spreading, stay home if you’re sick, and call your health care provider if you are severely ill, just as you would during a normal flu season.”

Public health experts are closely watching for indications that the novel strain of flu will change and become more severe. There is currently no vaccine available for novel H1N1, but the CDC is working to develop a vaccine specific to this flu strain.

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The new H1N1 virus is spread the same way as seasonal influenza — through coughs and sneezes. If you’re sick with flu-like symptoms (sore throat, bad cough, body aches or chills, fever of 100?F or more, extreme fatigue, sometimes vomiting or diarrhea), stay home from work or school.

Vermonters are urged to continue to take simple precautions every day, and to teach children to do the same:

* Cover your mouth and nose every time you cough or sneeze.

* Use a tissue when possible and throw it in the trash after use.

* Wash hands often and well. Wash for as long as it takes to sing the “ABC” song.

* Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective.

* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.