Updated: Monday, 02 Feb 2009, 2:15 PM EST
Published : Sunday, 01 Feb 2009, 9:36 AM EST
New Haven (WTNH) - Diane Dumigan, the Hospital of Saint Raphael's flu specialist and infection preventionist, was here this morning to help us keep our families healthy throughout this cold and flu season.
Flu season is definitely here, with influenza activity on the rise throughout the state in recent weeks.
Just this past Friday, the Forman School in Litchfield gave students the next week off because of a high number of flu cases there.
Dumigan says that recently, "The flu in Connecticut has changed from local to regional, so there is more flu throughout the state." This includes both types of influenza, Type A and Type B.
Recently, doctors have found that Tamiflu, a medication that used to be very effective in treating the flu, has been ineffective this season.
"Certain subtypes of the A strain are totally resistant to Tamiflu," said Dumigan.
But Dumigan also says that there are many other medications that are effective in preventing the flu, and encouraged anyone trying to avoid the flu to get vaccinated.
"Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself," said Dumigan. "And it's never too late. You can get vaccinated throughout the flu season."
If you can't get vaccinated or haven't gotten vaccinated, make sure you wash and disinfect your hands frequently. "Alcohol handrubs can be very effective," said Dumigan. "Look for one that has a high percentage of alcohol: over 70%."
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