According to the CDC, nearly every state in the country is experiencing widespread flu outbreak, including Illinois. Not only did the flu come early this season, but local health officials say the number of cases have really spiked over the last week.
In a typical flu season, health officials say the number of cases doesn’t start to rise until mid to late January but this season; Chicago started seeing a rise in cases in early December. What’s particularly concerning this year is the strain that is circulating the most this year. The H3N2 strain, also known as Influenza A, is being reported the most this season. Doctors say that strain has been known in previous years to cause more severe illness.
The Chicago department of health urges anyone over six months old to get vaccinated, especially pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with a chronic disease.
According to the CDC, this year’s vaccine is a good match for this year’s predominant strain. The health department says there are still plenty of vaccinations available in the Chicagoland area.
Reported by Krystle Gutierrez.