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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Influenza Activity ‘Rapidly Increasing’

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Influenza activity has been rapidly increasing during the last few weeks in many areas of Connecticut, including Fairfield County, Mark A.R. Cooper, director of health, Westport Weston Health District, announced today

“Influenza season usually peaks around February of each year,” he said. “It is not too late to get vaccinated for the 2012-13 flu season. The Westport Weston Health District has plenty of vaccine available.”

After being vaccinated, it takes about a week for one’s immune response to be at its peak, Cooper said. Therefore it is important to be vaccinated before exposure.

“Getting vaccinated for the flu now will not only help keep you healthy, but also help prevent the spread of the infection during the holiday season,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated, Cooper said.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year because the viruses that cause seasonal flu are always changing, according to the health official.

The three most common viruses seen today are influenza B, influenza A (H1N1), and influenza A (H3N2), he said.

“Every year, one strain of each virus is used to produce seasonal flu vaccines,” Cooper said. “Connecticut’s influenza surveillance system used to monitor circulating flu viruses are finding this year’s vaccine to be a good match to circulating viruses.”

To schedule an appointment for your flu vaccination, visit WWHD’s website at http://www.wwhd.org or call 203-227-9571, ext. 231.

If you are a homebound resident of Westport or Weston, call to schedule your in-home vaccination.

The cost of vaccination is $35 ($55 for the High Dose vaccine). Most insurance plans are accepted for payment—be sure to bring your card.

Posted 12/12 at 03:29 PM

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