Featured

Flu Declared Widespread in Rhode Island Again; Masking Requirement In Effect For Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers

Providence: Director of Health Michael Fine, MD today declared the flu to be widespread again in Rhode Island. This declaration triggers the requirement that healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated against the flu wear surgical masks during direct patient contact. Rhode Island is seeing a second wave of flu that is 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 majority of the 13 flu-related deaths this season have been people in their 80s and 90s. There have…
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Featured

Influenza Deaths Climb; H3N2 taking toll on elderly

Providence: Thirteen people, most of them in their 80s and 90s, have died from influenza this season, many since the arrival of the H3N2 strain of flu in late March. Rhode Island is also seeing cases of Type B strains recently. There have been 392 hospitalizations, with 40 of those occuring in the last week with a spike in influenza activity, as part of a the late season second wave of influenza disease. “Thirteen Rhode Islanders have died from influenza this season, and the number of hospitalizations due to influenza has increased, with much of the activity occurring in the…
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Health

Different Strain of Influenza Causing Illness in Rhode Island; Elderly More at Risk

An influenza strain, different from the flu strain that is most common this season, is causing an increase in the flu in Rhode Island. This latest strain, H3, causes more severe illness and has a greater impact on the elderly. This year's flu vaccine protects against both these strains of the flu. "If you haven't been vaccinated yet, it is not too late to get a flu shot," said Director of Health Michael Fine, "Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also protects those around you, including senior citizens who are now most vulnerable." There is still plenty of flu…
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