The week of December 8-14 is being recognized as National Influenza Vaccination Week.
The state is taking this opportunity to remind residents that if they don’t yet have their flu vaccine, this would be an excellent time to get one.
We spoke to State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin about this years flu season.
Dr. McLaughlin: “Influenza activity has already started here in Alaska, virtually every region in the state is reporting cases the only region we haven’t had any reports from is the Northern region but that doesn’t mean that there’s not flu there we suspect there is flu there. Most of the activity has been in Southcentral Alaska so far and so flu is here, most of the flu we’ve been seeing actually virtually all, has been H1N1.”
Dr McLaughlin had a few useful tips to keep others from getting the flu if you already contracted it.
Dr. McLaughlin: “Certainly if people do get sick with influenza its important for them to stay home from work or school until their symptoms resolve. Certainly we recommend at least the first three days after infection starts because that’s when you’re most contagious but staying home from work or school until symptoms resolve is always a good, good practice.”
Both the state and the Municipality of Anchorage are waiving the administration fee for flu vaccine through the end of December, making it more affordable for those who qualify. For more information contact the public health center near you.