Flu no longer widespread in RI, but risk remains

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state's top medical official says influenza is no longer widespread in Rhode Island, but he cautioned unvaccinated residents that the risk of catching the illness remains.

State health director Michael Fine said Monday that he has formally lifted a requirement that unvaccinated healthcare workers wear masks when treating patients.

Nevertheless, Fine says anyone that hasn't been immunized against the flu is still at risk for catching it. Flu season typically runs through May. This year's season saw an early bump in the number of flu-like illnesses reported by local hospitals.

Health officials say everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated.

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