FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 23, 2007
DHSS Contact: Greg Wilkinson, (907) 269-7285, Cell (907) 382-7032
Ross Soboleff, (907) 465-1611, Cell (907) 321-3838
Flu Season Ongoing in Alaska
It’s not too late to be vaccinated.
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( Juneau, Alaska) — Dozens of new positive rapid influenza reports were received by the Section of Epidemiology on Thursday. The good news is: it’s still not too late to be vaccinated against influenza. The vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective, and continues to protect against the disease for about one year.
“Although influenza activity has been low so far this year, we have seen a great increase in reported cases over the past week,” said Dr. Jay Butler, Public Health Director. "Sometimes the flu season just starts a little late ─ we are not out of the woods, yet. There could still be a lot of flu in Alaska over the next two to three months, and it is not too late to get a flu shot."
It is recommended that individuals who normally receive influenza vaccine but who may have deferred on behalf of those at highest risk should now request the vaccine while supplies last. Health-care workers and those who live with or care for more vulnerable people, such as infants, the elderly, or people with chronic diseases, should also be vaccinated to decrease the chance of transmitting influenza.
Vaccine availability may vary by location around the state. Anyone seeking a flu shot should check with their local health provider or public health center about vaccine availability in their area.
For additional information on influenza go to:
DPH Section of Epidemiology
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention