Local Flu Cases Rising

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WINNEBAGO (WIFR) – The number of flu cases is increasing dramatically across the state and here in the Stateline.

County Health Officials say during the last week of December, 54 cases of the flu were reported. By the end of the first week in January, that number had more than tripled to 175 cases.

January is the time when the flu season peaks according to the Health Department. This season, more people are coming down with the H1N1 strain, similar to the one from 2009.

This year’s flu shot does protect against that particular virus which can strike more often in young adults and young children. Health experts say if you are sick, the best advice is to stay home since it doesn’t take much to give the flu to someone else.

“You can spread germs in 3-4 feet, so you can have direct contact to dangerous germs when you cough, you can spread your germs on to contact surfaces which can be infectious to others as well,” said Kara Biery with the Winnebago County Health Department.

If you think you have the flu and if you see your doctor within 2 days of getting symptoms, you can receive an anti-viral medication that will prevent transmission and lessen the severity of the illness.

It isn’t too late to get a flu shot. Just make an appointment with the County Health Department by calling 815-720-4264. It usually takes 2 weeks for the shot to protect you from infection.

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