Barnstable County Health Officials Report High Flu Activity

HYANNIS – Barnstable County Health officials are reporting high flu activity with peak season still a few weeks away.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting high influenza-like-illness activity over the past week and lists the severity level for the state at moderate.

Barnstable County Public Health Nurse Deidre Arvidson said Influenza B and the H1N1 strains are the most dominant at this time in causing illness.

“It’s not as high as the 2017-18 season, but it’s a little higher than last year,” Arvidson said.

Arvidson said getting a flu shot is the better prevention method and it is not too late to get one.

The DPH said all flu strains that have been characterized in the state this season are covered by the current influenza vaccine.

Arvidson said flu shots are still available at the Barnstable County Public Health Nursing Division at the Barnstable County Complex.

“We still have high dose. We still have regular dose. We have plenty of flu vaccine for those who still need a shot,” she said.

The immunizations are available to all county residents by appointment. The clinic hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 4. Call 508-375-6617 to schedule an appointment.

Arvidson also recommends washing hands whenever possible.

“It is the best way to prevent getting sick from any illness,” she said.

Other prevention tips include avoiding large groups of people when possible. Wearing a mask around the nose and mouth is also recommended when around others who have the flu.

The populations that are the most at risk are the elderly and children.

Arvidson said there have been 32 flu associated pediatric deaths this season across the United States.

Nationally, flu-like-illness activity remains elevated and influenza B is the most common strain.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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