CDC says Vermont is now seeing 'moderate' flu spread
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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