Published: Sat, January 05, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Wisconsin Department of Health Services says flu activity is rising

Wisconsin Department of Health Services says flu activity is rising

"We are starting to see an upward trend in cases being reported", said Jenny Galbraith, immunization surveillance coordinator at the North Dakota Department of Public Health.

By avoiding the flu, you also protect those around you who might be more vulnerable to the illness, including children, seniors and people with pre-existing illnesses, such as asthma.

That virus is similar to the one that caused the flu pandemic in 2009, said Halperin, but hasn't been predominant since then - meaning that many people likely don't have immunity to it anymore. "But it's odd that in the Southeast, the H3N2 virus is more common".

People don't seem to be as sick as they were this time previous year, but state officials are warning this flu season could get worse soon. When that strain predominated, almost 1 million Americans were hospitalized and 80,000 died. "At this point, most flu activity has been driven by illness in school-age children, and hospitalization rates among children younger than five years old are now the highest among all age groups".

"Last year was a record bad year", Brammer said.

The CDC doesn't track adult deaths from flu, but they do keep tabs on pediatric deaths.

Hospitals were setting up tents and triage units in parking lots, as the more aggressive strain took hold across the country.

This year's flu season, predicted to be relatively mild, is defying expectations.

Officials said they are investigating the three cases.

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, there are other ways to protect yourself from getting the flu. While the virus itself wasn't more deadly than normal, there was just markedly more of it circulating, she said.

Doctor Kathlyn Ignacio, is advocating for the use of the flu vaccine.

Getting a flu shot should be at the top of the list for those at high risk for flu, including the elderly and people with heart disease or lung disease and pregnant women. People like Gene Hemshrot says he and his wife have gotten the flu shot every year for the past 20. "I think it's probably the single best thing you can do to prevent the flu". "Be sure to frequently wash your hands with soap and water and stay home if you are sick with flu-like illness".

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