Influenza arrives in Johnson County

Bulletin photo by Robb Hicks Darcie Gampetro, a pharamist at Buffalo Prescription Shop, administers influenza vaccine on Monday. Dr. Mark Schueler, Johnson County health officer, said that in any given year, about 10% of Johnson County residents contract the flu.

Last week, Johnson County had its first confirmed case of influenza, according to Dr. Mark Schueler, Johnson County health officer.

“It’s a little different this year because there’s more Influenza B, and that’s usually later in the season,” Schueler said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about three-quarters of the confirmed cases of influenza in the country thus far this season are Influenza B. The Wyoming Department of Health’s influenza report indicates that as of Dec. 13, influenza has been confirmed in 14 counties.

Schueler said that it appears that this year’s vaccine is a good match for the viruses.

“It looks like a very good match this year,” he said. “The reason not everyone gets protection has more to do with their immune system. In other words, some people respond really well to a vaccine, but as you get older, you don’t make as many antibodies and so you’re not as well protected.”

According to Schueler, if you have not yet received the flu vaccine, it’s not too late.

“It’s still worth getting,” he said. “It’s going to take that vaccine two weeks to provide immunity, but the prevalence of that virus is going to bounce around the community for six to eight weeks.”

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