GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Health officials are urging people to be prepared for illnesses like the flu this year.
“We have had at least 29 confirmed cases of influenza,” said Tom Haudt, who is in charge of tracking influenza across the state of Wisconsin.
Haudt says he is worried about what could potentially be a bad year for the flu. “We are definitely seeing an increase statewide,” he explained.
In addition, Haudt mentions that masking up last year virtually wiped out the flu. “There is obvious evidence that masking and social distancing played a lot with the reduced numbers of the flu this past season,” Haudt said.
There could be a double-whammy in the making, though, with COVID-19 showing any signs of slowing down. Especially for young children.
“If anyone has a child under 5 years old, the people around them have to take a little bit of responsibility for themselves and get vaccinated to make sure the people around those unvaccinated children get the vaccine for COVID and influenza,” said Haudt.
Another concern is at college campuses. Nationwide, health officials say flu cases have been popping up inside dormitories. And with the holidays coming up, that means people, especially college students, will be traveling and having meals with family members they do not normally see.
“We want people to be smart about it,” Haudt explained. “We don’t want people to become complacent that they had their COVID vaccine that they are free from other diseases. We really want people to be aware vaccines offer protection.”
The state says flu season usually peaks during late January or early February. They reiterate your best protection is to get your shot and that it’s not too late to get one.