Wisconsin Flu Outbreak
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Flu cases are spreading in Wisconsin and hitting people hard. The number of people hospitalized has doubled over the last week.
Health officers say northeast and southeast Wisconsin are getting hit the hardest. The groups impacted the most are those over 65-years-old and children under one.
"I'm just coming in because I have a sore throat," Karen Ferris said, who feels sick.
Karen Ferris waits to see the doctor. Her flu fears airborne.
"It's kind of crazy there's that many it's affected right now. I've gotten the flu shot this year," Ferris said.
Since December first, St. Mary's Hospital in Green Bay reports 18 hospitalizations for the flu. While St. Vincent Hospital reports 29. This time last year, a hospital spokeswoman tells us there were hardly any cases.
"It's probably been the worst in three years," Appleton Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht said.
Eggebrecht tells us it's spreading across Wisconsin fast.
"They've indicated there's about 1300 hospitalizations now. So that's a very high number of hospitalizations, especially this early in the season," Eggebrecht said.
Many are scrambling to get flu shots. About 35 people got one at a Thedacare clinic Wednesday in Appleton, hoping there won't be a health emergency declared.
"I know that's something they did talk about," Eggebrecht said. "They're clearly not at that point and don't see that in the foreseeable future."
Ferris doesn't want her future to include the flu.
"We just have to be kind of precautious. Make sure you wash your hands during this time to make sure we're not infecting anyone else," Ferris said.
Washing your hands is one way to prevent the flu, but doctors say the best protection is getting the flu shot.
If you have the flu, it's suggested to stay home and rest for at least five days.
Symptoms are similar to the common cold, including fatigue, muscle aches and pains.