This winter’s flu season is supposed to be a tough one. This is according to Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “We’re seeing more and more activity this year already, there [are] some regional outbreaks here in the state already, and we also monitor ICU cases – folks that are admitted to the intensive care unit for influenza-like illnesses – so based on all those indicators we are showing here in the state of Illinois that it’s more active,” he said.
Centers for Disease Control concurs, expecting greater prevalence of the flu this winter vs. last.
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The department of Public Health is urging people to get flu shots, which are helpful for anyone over 6 months of age. Hasbrouck says anybody can get the flu, but the complications are most severe for pregnant women, the very old and very young, and those who otherwise have chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma.
Across the country, the flu contributes to 200,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths each year.