Influenza hospitalizations increasing in Wisconsin - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Influenza hospitalizations increasing in Wisconsin

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin has seen a recent dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations resulting from influenza, including admissions to intensive care units. The Department of Health Services says there have been 565 influenza associated hospitalizations since October 5th, and 75% of those have been reported since December 14th.

The influenza virus causing most of these serious infections is the 2009 A/H1N1 virus, the same virus that caused the influenza pandemic during 2009. Once again, state health officials are strongly encouraging Wisconsin residents to get vaccinated against the flu. 

"For the best protection against the flu, you need to be vaccinated annually," said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer. "Getting vaccinated during past years, or having the flu in the past, does not fully protect against this year's A/H1N1 strain. The good news is that the H1N1 strain in this year's vaccine is well matched against the 2009 A/H1N1 flu strain and should be very effective."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone aged six months and older should be vaccinated annually against influenza. To get flu shots for you and your family, contact your health care provider, pharmacy, local public health department or go to www.flu.gov to find a flu vaccination center near you. 

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