NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) — Dr. David Brooks, Director of Infectious Disease at ThedaCare Medical, told Local 5 that there is no firm beginning or end date for flu season.
“It can vary from year to year,” he said. “There’s no exact science behind it.”
Generally, flu season begins in the Fall and ends with Spring, which means in early January, we’re in the thick of it.
“It’s not that we’re seeing anything unusual, it is flu season, the rates are going up a little bit higher than last year, but it’s really early to say really how bad or how good this season will be,” Dr. Brooks explained.
Although the rates are not alarming, area hospitals like ThedaCare are restricting visiting regulations, banning children under 12 from visits for the remainder of the flu season.
“Younger kids can carry influenza and other viruses and we need to try to prevent them coming into the hospital,” Dr. Brooks said. “We might see other cases of influenza or other illnesses among patients now as well as protect our own medical staff.”
It’s an attempt to protect vulnerable patients from the flu.
“It can be very severe in older and younger patients,” Dr. Brooks said, “and patients with heart and lung, diabetes, and other medical problems.”
Those at home can prevent the spread of the flu by washing their hands, wiping down countertops and other surfaces, and staying home if you experience any flu symptoms like, “High fever with headaches, body aches, and other respiratory-like symptoms: sore throat, congestion, cough,” Dr. Brooks described.
Health officials recommend that anyone who’s made it this far into flu season without experiencing those symptoms get a flu vaccination, because, as Dr. Brooks says, “It’s never too late.”
For more information on getting a flu shot, click here.