Winter is over, and flu season is on the way out. It was a harsh flu season, says Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “It was a very harsh flu season. It started early, it peaked early. We had, for instance, if you compare last year (2011-12), we had a total last year of about 73 ICU hospitalizations, three deaths; this year (2012-13), 667 ICU hospitalizations, over 100 deaths,” he said.
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But it’s on the wane, Hasbrouck says. Flu season typically ends around the end of winter, though it might last through the end of March. The Department of Public Health urged Illinoisans, especially old folks, got get flu shots. The shots proved to be only about 60 percent effective in preventing the flu, but Hasbrouck says the shots made the flu less severe for those who did get it.