However, in the level of activity Virginia's flu season is now on par with 2011, reaching the "local" stage this week, exactly the same time as last year, said Laurie Forlano, deputy state epidemiologist for the state. Up until now, it ranked as "sporadic," the lowest level.
Forlano is adopting a "wait-and-see" attitude as there's no way to predict the course or severity of a flu season. Last year, the peak incidence in Virginia occurred late, not until late February before tapering off rapidly in mid-March.
Both locally and nationally, health clinics are urging
"Vaccination is definitely the best prevention," said Forlano, noting that Virginia scores better than the national average in providing vaccine coverage. "There's room to go up, but we do well, particularly with older adults." Last year, more than 63 percent Virginia seniors received the
This year's formulation protects against the HINI, which first appeared in 2009, Influenza B and