Flu Cases Are Scarce In Illinois This Year—- So Far

February 12, 2016
Electron microscope image of the H1N1 influenza virus.

Electron microscope image of the reassorted H1N1 influenza virus photographed at the CDC Influenza Laboratory. The viruses are 80–120 nanometres in diameter.

CDC/Wikipedia

Influenza is sometimes a big problem in Illinois --- but so far, not this year. The amount of flu cases reported in the state is being described as “sporadic” and “average.”

Epidemiologist Awais Vaid with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says Champaign County has only seen one or two cases of flu this year that required hospitalization. He says that’s in contrast to widespread flu outbreaks in states including New York and Arizona.

 “I know other parts of the country, especially in the last couple of weeks, they have seen an uptick,” said Vaid. “We have not seen that as yet. But that doesn’t mean we will not see it. I mean the season is not over as yet. So there is always a potential for seeing cases in the next few weeks and the next couple of months.”

Vaid says Illinois’ mild winter weather may be one reason for the low levels of flu cases so far this year. In addition, he says this year’s flu vaccine seems to be a better match for the disease than in past years.

Vaid says getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid the flu. He says the flu vaccine is still widely available at area clinics, pharmacies and public health offices.

Story source: WILL