Flu Hits Winthrop Hard; 17 Cases So Far

Friday, February 2, 2018
By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The flu has hit Winthrop particularly hard this year with 17 cases being reported by the Department of Public Health to the Winthrop Public Health nurse.

Two of the cases struck the senior center hard in December. Two employees came down with the flu, and because of the senior population, it was determined that the senior center needed to be shut down and scrubbed down before opening to the public. Deanna Faretra, the public health nurse for Winthrop, said every surface that could be touched from floor to ceiling was cleaned.

“This is a high-risk population and it was closed for two or three days,” Faretra said.

Since Jan. 18 there have been 11 cases of influenza. During the same period in 2017 there were only eight influenza cases.

But Faretra said but these are only flu cases attended to by a physician. She believes there are many more people in town who have had the flu and just chose to be cared for at home. She said the elderly, very young and immune-compromised are at the greatest risk.

“In the last 10 days we have seen 11 cases. We started to see the flu in early September and October. In the last 60 days the number of cases has jumped,” she said from her new health department location at thee EB Newton School on Pauline Street.

Faretra said everyone should follow the basic guidelines for fighting the flu – get the flu vaccine, cover your mouth, wash you hands often and stay at home when you are sick.

This year the town of Winthrop purchased 200 doses of flu vaccine, compared to 270 in 2017 and 40 state supplied doses. Flu clinics have been held. Contact your physician for one, it is not too late.

The symptoms of the flu are fever, feeling chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, fatigue, some may have vomiting or diarrhea, though that is more common in children than adults.

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