washingtonpost.com  > Health > Condition Center > Influenza

Flu Shots Sold by Woman Called Authentic

Associated Press
Monday, December 6, 2004; Page A22

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 5 -- A woman who allegedly sold flu shots, then fled when her credentials were questioned, was giving people the real vaccine and was trying to raise money for her daughter's school fundraiser, her ex-husband said.

Michelle Lynn Torgerson, 33, was arrested Friday on suspicion of theft and drug possession, said police Capt. Rich Stanek. She remained jailed Sunday.

_____Influenza_____

Q. What is the flu?
A.
A viral respiratory infection. Symptoms include headaches, dry cough, muscle aches and fatigue, and possible congestion, sore throat and fever.
spacer spacer Q. How do you treat the flu?
A.
Rest, drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and tobacco. Since the flu is a virus, antibiotics can't cure it.
spacer spacer Q. Who should get a flu vaccine?
A.
People older than 65, children 6 to 23 months old, pregnant women and adults or children with chronic health conditions are at greater risk for severe illness.
From The Post: Flu Q & A
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_____On the Web_____
Flu Vaccine Locator
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Global Influenza Surveillance

_____Flu News_____
CDC: Flu Season Is Off to a Slow Start (Associated Press, Nov 25, 2004)
Virginia Seeks More Flu Vaccine (Associated Press, Nov 29, 2004)
Flu Crisis Sparks Fresh Look at Vaccine Production (The Washington Post, Nov 27, 2004)
Flu Special Report

Police and school officials said faculty and students at Augsburg College in Minneapolis paid Michelle Torgerson $20 each for the flu shots. Chad Torgerson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his ex-wife used the proceeds for an American Heart Association fundraising drive at their 9-year-old daughter's school.

College officials said a woman set up a booth Tuesday through Thursday, administering what she said were flu shots and claiming to be with the heart association. But she left when the college's officials asked her for more information, which raised concerns about whether she had actually given flu vaccine. The heart association said the woman was not affiliated with the organization.

Chad Torgerson said the shots were real flu vaccine. "Whether she took all the right and proper steps -- that's where she might have done something wrong," he said.

Stanek declined to comment on Chad Torgerson's account. He said Michelle Torgerson is a licensed nurse practitioner at a Twin Cities health care provider that he would not identify.

Michelle Torgerson's attorney, Robert Hajek, declined to comment.


© 2004 The Washington Post Company


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