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Home Local News

High Levels of Flu in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health
Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck advises the public on
the current flu situation in Illinois.

“We have been and continue to see an increase in flu
activity across the state.  The flu strain that is
predominately circulating this year is typically more
severe, with more hospitalizations and deaths.  From
the beginning of October through the end of December
we’ve seen almost 150 people admitted to hospital
intensive care units (ICU) with influenza like
illness.  There have also been six flu-related deaths
of ICU patients.  This compares to last year at this
time when there were only two ICU hospitalizations
and no deaths.”

“Due to the increased flu activity, many people are
going to hospital emergency departments.  So much so
that some hospitals have needed to direct all but the
most critical patients to nearby hospitals because
they do not have enough room or possibly staff to see
patients.  In most cases we recommend contacting a
health professional before going to an emergency
department if you are experiencing flu symptoms.  The
majority of people suffering from the flu simply need
to stay home, rest and let the flu run its course.
Typically only people with severe respiratory illness
who have trouble breathing need to visit a hospital
emergency department.”

“It is not too late to be vaccinated, to get a flu
shot.  The flu season normally runs through March and
sometimes later.  If you do get the flu, the vaccine
can also reduce the amount of time you’re sick and
the severity of symptoms.  By getting vaccinated, you
can also help protect infants, the elderly and those
with chronic diseases who are at greatest risk for
complications due to the flu.”

Many pharmacies offer flu vaccinations, as well as
local health departments, some physician offices and
health clinics.  To find where you can receive a flu
vaccination, contact your local health department or
log onto the flu vaccine finder at
http://www.flu.gov/#.

To reduce the spread of influenza and other
contagious diseases, it is always important to
practice the 3 C’s –
• Clean – properly wash your hands frequently
• Cover – cover your cough and sneeze
• Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you
are sick
For more information, log onto
www.idph.state.il.us/flu/index.htm.

 

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