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CDC says Vermont is now seeing 'moderate' flu spread

A map of the United States with states highlighted based on their level of flu activity.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC on Friday, Dec. 9, updated its weekly flu level map and moved Vermont from low to moderate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday upgraded Vermont's official flu status from low to moderate.

It comes at a time when many states in the Northeast and around the country are seeing high levels of the virus, according to the CDC.

In an interview Friday, Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said he fully expects the flu to be widespread in the state in a matter of weeks.

"So even a moderate level this early in the season is significant and everything is moving in the direction of we will soon be at high level of activity, probably prior to the holidays," Levine said.

The bump in cases comes on the heels of a busy fall for hospitals. Many of them were inundated with cases of respiratory diseases that primarily affected young people, such as respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

More from Vermont Edition: Vermont hospitals tackle RSV surge, with flu season around the corner

"There's obviously a never ending relentless thing for hospitals because they're constantly seeing people who are at the most serious end of the spectrum of illness with respiratory virus infections," Levine said.

State officials this week announced many state-run walk-in clinics will have expanded hours this month. The state-run clinics offer free flu vaccines for people under 65, and COVID vaccines and boosters for all ages.

Some clinics open as early as 7a.m., and close as late as 7 p.m.

The state is offering expanded hours in a push to get Vermonters up-to-date on vaccines before holiday gatherings.

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Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
Brittany Patterson joined Vermont Public in December 2020. Previously, she was an energy and environment reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the Ohio Valley ReSource. Prior to that, she covered public lands, the Interior Department and forests for E&E News' ClimateWire, based in Washington, D.C. Brittany also teaches audio storytelling and has taught classes at West Virginia University, Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont. She holds degrees in journalism from San Jose State University and U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. A native of California, Brittany has fallen in love with Vermont. She enjoys hiking, skiing, baking and cuddling with her rescues, a 95-pound American Bulldog mix named Cooper, and Mila, the most beautiful calico cat you'll ever meet.
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