Cold and flu season ramping up

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose. As the cold and flu season ramps up, the Rock River Valley Blood Center is feeling the effects.

Local influenza cases have increased each week for the last six weeks. Emergency room visits for flu like illness have been four times higher than what was expected over the last four weeks according to the Winnebago Health Department. The RRVBC has even seen a 40% increase in cancellations due to sickness during the month of January. Just one blood donation can save up to three lives.

The CEO, Lisa Entrikin, gives us her insight, "The rate of people that actually give blood in this country, today, is going down more rapidly than the rate of transfusions. And it's been on this track for more than 10 years. And if this continues we're headed for a national health crisis in this country."

If the pattern continues, we are going to get to a point where there are more people that need blood, than there are people that donate blood.