The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says an unusually large number of cases of the flu have been reported for this time of year.
Influenza Surveillance Coordinator Tom Haupt notes this September has brought significantly more than the five cases and two hospitalizations seen in the same month last year. “We’ve seen as many as 19 confirmed cases of influenza throughout the state (between September 1-22). We’ve also seen eight hospitalizations throughout the state.”
Haupt does not know the reason for the early-season spike. “We are submitting more and more samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there’s nothing at this point to indicate any kind of a variant that might be going around.”
Haupt urges people to take preventative measures. “In addition to (getting a) vaccination, we’re asking people to practice good hygiene, simply to cover your cough. If you’re not feeling well, stay home, drink plenty of fluids, get some rest.”
The flu season in Wisconsin typically starts with a small number of cases in late September and early October, reaches its peak in late January or early February, and ends in late April or early May.