The flu season is starting to wind down and State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk says it looks like its toll wasn’t that heavy overall. She says it probably was less serious than last year and hit a different population. She says last year the flu hit in December and hit mostly kids, while this year the flu hit in January and February the elderly felt the biggest impact. Quinlisk says this seemed to be a more normal year for the flu. She says the elderly are typically more likely to get the flu as compared to last year when it hit the children harder. The shortage of flu vaccine force the state to restrict flu shots early on to those most susceptible to the disease. Quinlisk says it’s hard to tell, but that likely had an impact on the overall impact of the flu. She says,”We probably had a little bit more serious flu year this year, um, then we might have had if we had enough vaccine to vaccinate everybody that we usually vaccinate. There was an outbreak of whooping cough or pertussis this year and Quinlisk says that outbreak also looks to be close to an end. She says pertussis went down over the holidays, and that’s likely because kids were at home and not at school. She says the cases went up again after the holidays, but not to the peak that we saw in the fall. Quinlisk says she expects the whooping cough cases to continue to go down as we move toward spring.
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