Reports of flu cases requiring hospitalization on the rise
MADISON (WKOW) -- It often starts with a fever or feeling feverish with chills leading to a strong cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, severe muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
This is a description of influenza, better known as the flu and it is not something you want to get or spread to others. Reports of flu cases requiring hospitalization throughout the county are increasing.
In Wisconsin there have been 397 reported influenza-associated hospitalizations. 67% of these hospitalizations were for individuals from 18 through 64 years old. 68 of these cases were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 55 of these affected people were in the 18-64 age range.
Here in Dane County, according to a report issued Tuesday morning, 75 people have been hospitalized for influenza since October 1st. With 56% of those individuals between the ages of 18 and 64.
The H1N1 strain seems to be producing most of these cases though it is impossible to predict at this point which strain of the virus will wind up being most common this winter. And even though young and middle age adults are the prime target so far, the flu can be life threatening for the very young and older adults as well as those with other health challenges.
The good news is that this year´s flu vaccine covers H1N1 and other strains, and it is not too late to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older gets the vaccine.
The flu vaccine is still widely available. If you are insured, check with your clinic or a pharmacy. If you do not have insurance, PHMDC has flu vaccine available at its clinics. Call (608) 266-4821 to make an appointment. For more details about this year´s flu season see