Harsh Start for Flu Season

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- If you haven’t had a flu shot yet, you might want to schedule an appointment. Doctors predicted it would be a bad flu season, and they were definitely right.

More than 300 flu cases were reported in Winnebago County in December alone. Illinois is just one of 31 states that have been hit hard by the flu virus.

“There’s an increase in the flu certainly from last year, but from other years too we’ve had. It’s sooner than other years.”
Boone County Health Administrator Cindy Frank says the flu season usually spikes in February and ends sometime in late March. So far, she says it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

“We’re going to see what happens in January because of the increase nationwide of the flu virus,” Frank said.
Since it’s spreading, Eric Trautmann believes this flu season could last longer. He’s a family doctor at SwedishAmerican Hospital, who says he’s seen people come in even if they received a flu shot.

“That is possible. People need to remember the flu shot is no 100%. We usually quote around 70-80% effectiveness,” said Trautmann.

Healthcare providers say that with the early and harsh start to the season, it is not too late to get your vaccination.
So far, we know of at least two deaths in Winnebago County connected to the flu.

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