Influenza hospitalizations on the rise statewide
Reported flu cases in Oneida County low
Star Journal Report
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is reporting 459 hospitalizations due to influenza this season, more than three times as many than at this time last year. Eleven people in the state have died due to complications from the virus. Admissions to intensive care units for respiratory illnesses are also on the rise.
Oneida County public health nurse Leslie Schott, RN BSN, said cases of influenza locally are not at a high level at this point, but they are prepared should the flu hit the Northwoods. Schott said it’s not too late to get an influenza vaccine.
According to the DHS website, Influenza B, which is particularly dangerous for the younger population, is the predominant strain of virus in Wisconsin. A map depicts cases of “influenza like illness” at high levels in the Southwestern part of the state.
The flu shot can prevent the virus and reduce symptoms if it is contracted. DHS lists the following habits that can prevent or spread the flu:
- Stay home when sick. The flu can be passed to friends or family before symptoms begin. See a health care provider if symptoms persist or get worse.
- If visiting a loved one in a hospital, nursing home, or other assisted living facility, ask a nurse for a mask and be sure to wash hands or use hand sanitizer. Some facilities may put restrictions on visitors.
- Don’t hold or kiss a baby when sick. Babies under six months old cannot get the flu shot.
- Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve, and try to avoid touching your face with your hand. • Throw tissues away after one use.
- Don’t share drinking cups, straws, and utensils.
- Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest, and don’t smoke.
- Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, refrigerator handles, telephones, faucets).
For more information, visit dhs.wisconsin.gov.