Influenza Outbreak Worsens In Illinois - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Influenza Outbreak Worsens In Illinois

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Illinois health officials are seeing an increase in the number of cases of influenza and that's putting pressure on hospitals.

"The flu strain that is predominately circulating this year is typically more severe, with more hospitalizations and deaths," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck in a news release.

From October through December, there have been almost 150 people admitted to Intensive Care Units and six flu-related deaths. At this time last year, there were only two ICU hospitalizations and no deaths.

Due to the increase in flu cases, officials say more people are going to hospital emergency departments, which is putting a strain on some institutions that don't have enough room or staff. In most cases, health officials recommend contacting a health professional before going to the emergency room for the flu. They say the majority of people simply need to stay home and let the flu run its course.

It is not too late to be vaccinated. By getting a flu shot, you can also help protect infants, the elderly and those with chronic illness who are at greatest risk for complications, due to the flu.

Watch KWQC's Morgan Ottier get her first ever flu shot, administered live on Quad Cities Today.