Illinois among states with ‘widespread’ flu activity

By Benjamin Yount 
Illinois News Network

The flu season is here in Illinois. More and more people are getting sick, but the state of Illinois says there’s still time to get a flu shot.

Illinois is among the states that the CDC says is seeing “widespread” flu activity.

Melaney Arnold with the Illinois Department of Public Health says the state doesn’t track all flu cases, just hospitalizations and deaths. But Arnold says every indicator points to the fact that flu season has begun in Illinois.

“We’re starting to see flu cases increase here in Illinois just like every state across the nation,” Arnold said. “We are typically seeing a strain, the H3N2 strain, that can be more severe than other strains.

Arnold says the IDPH is still recommending a flu shot, even though it may not be as effective as in years past.

“A flu shot can still be effective,” Arnold said. “It can still help prevent some of the illness. And even if you do get the flu, a shot can hopefully make it a bit more mild. And it won’t last as long.”

The state’s other tips to stay healthy are common sense: Wash your hands, stay away from sick people and, if you do get sick, don’t go around and spread the virus.

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