Share this page on facebook
Ozaukee County flu hospitalizations on the increase PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 19:18

Public health director says between five and 10 cases a day are being reported in two county area

    There’s still time to get a shot for this year’s flu season that has resulted in 49 hospitalizations in Ozaukee County.
    “In terms of numbers, we do have more hospitalizations than we did last year,” Director of the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department Kirsten Johnson said, noting 75% of the cases involve people older than 65. “Often times, they’re going in for something else and then they’re diagnosed with the flu.”
    According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 2,023 people in the state have tested positive for influenza as of Jan. 27, and another 10 had parainfluenza — a respiratory illness found in infants and children. The department reported 36 people tested positive for coronavirus, which is a mild upper-respiratory illness.
    Johnson said she receives five to 10 reports of the flu per day between the two counties. The only reported cases of the flu to the health department are hospitalizations and pediatric deaths. She said there have been no pediatric deaths from the flu this year in Ozaukee.  
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, 53 pediatric deaths have been linked to the flu and pneumonia this year.
    As of Feb. 1, the percentage of deaths caused by influenza and pneumonia in the U.S. is 9.7%, which is more than the epidemic threshold of 7.1%
    “We’ve been encouraging people to get immunized,” she said.
    So far 32% of the people in Wisconsin have gotten flu shots.
    While there haven’t been any flu-related deaths in Wisconsin, the CDC declared the state to be under a severe flu threat two weeks ago.
    Johnson said the flu hasn’t reached its peak yet in Wisconsin, but she expects the flu season to last until late spring.
     She said one of the simplest ways to avoid getting sick is by getting vaccinated, which usually takes two weeks to become fully immunized.
    “I think people who don’t get the shot don’t know about its effects if they haven’t gotten it before or they just don’t believe in vaccines,” she said. “There’s a lot misinformation out there like you can get the flu from the shot, which isn’t true.”
    Those who are vaccinated and contract the flu are more likely to recover faster and the symptoms are less severe, Johnson said.
    Symptoms of the flu include cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.
    Johnson said it’s important to stay at home and call a doctor if you are sick. She also said simple steps can go a long way in preventing the spread of germs, like covering your mouth when coughing, washing hands and drinking plenty of fluids.
    “We know the flu is out there and we haven’t hit our peak yet, so stay wary and cautious,” she said. Daily Press