Department of Health declares flu widespread in RI - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Department of Health declares flu widespread in RI

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By News Staff

news@abc6.com

A second wave of flu has forced the Department of Health to declare it as widespread again in Rhode Island.

Director of Health Michael Fine, M.D. made the declaration today, saying the second wave of flu even more intense than the first. The dominant strains in this late-season wave have been H3N2 -- which has a great impact on the elderly -- and influenza B.

The declaration triggers the requirement that healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated against the flu wear surgical masks during direct patient contact.

The State has had 13 flu-related deaths this season, the majority of which have been people in their 80s and 90s.

So far this season there have been 464 flu-related hospitalizations and of that seventy of these hospitalizations occurred between April 6 and April 12.

(C) WLNE/TV 2014

 

The Department of Health is telling residents that there are still flu shots available in Rhode Island.

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