With Illinois being one of the states now reporting higher then normal flu activity Illinois public health officials noted that it is not too late for the public to get their flu shots. Hospitals intensive care unit have reported that so far this year 368 people have been admitted due to flu related illness, with 27 flu related ICU deaths.
Public health officials have stated that the strain of flu that is circulating now is one of the more severe strains causing more hospitalizations and deaths. It is estimated that the financial cost across the nation during each flu season is is $87.1 billion in lost income due to flu illness or death is estimated at $16.3 billion.
Common symptoms of flu include sore throat, high fever, cough, body aches and fatigue. The majority of people suffering from the flu simply need to stay home, rest, use over-the-counter remedies as needed and let the flu run its course. Several hospital emergency departments have recently had to refer patients with such symptoms to other hospitals as they were at capacity. Typically, only people with severe respiratory illness who have trouble breathing need to visit a hospital emergency department.
Currently manufacturers project producing 135 million doses of flu vaccine this season. The vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older. The flu season normally runs through March and sometimes later. The estimated effectiveness of the vaccine is 62 percent. For those who still need to obtain a flu shot, you can visit IDPH Online and enter your zip code in the Flu Vaccine Finder.