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“Worse before it gets better:” Experts warn flu season in Wisconsin is just starting

WAUKESHA COUNTY -- Getting sick can be a major bummer, especially if it's with the flu. That's why experts are warning that this flu season is only just starting, and that getting vaccinated is one effective way to protect yourself.

"Really the important thing is not only does it protect the person getting the shot, but it protects those around them, people that they love," said Health Officer Benjamen Jones, with the Waukesha County Health Department.

Benjamen Jones, Health Officer for the Waukesha County Health Department, says people should arm themselves with the flu vaccine because experts say flu season hasn't peaked yet.

"It will probably continue to get worse before it gets better," said Wisconsin influenza coordinator, Thomas Haupt, with the Department of Health Services.

Most at risk:

"The very young, the very old, people with chronic medical conditions," said Jones.

Still, every day people of all ages end up in the hospital with symptoms of the flu.

"This flu season, we've had 227 people hospitalized, which is about on-pace with a bad flu season," said Jones.

Benjamen Jones

And that's only on Waukesha County.

In all of Wisconsin, last week alone:

"...we had close to 700 hospitalizations, and that's one of our indicators that we're just not at peak season yet," said Haupt.

So far this season, there have been no reported cases of anyone dying from the flu in Wisconsin.

"That's very rare and also one of the more encouraging things about this season," said Haupt.

If you do get sick, allow time to recover.

"Give yourself time to heal, stay home and don't spread the flu to others around you, especially those who might be at risk of complications," Haupt said.

It's not too late to get a flu shot this season. Jones suggests checking with your doctor or local pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Additionally, the Health and Human Services Center in Waukesha County takes walk-ins.

Waukesha County Health and Human Services Center

 

For more information on flu symptoms and prevention, CLICK HERE.