Officials at Tomah Health say the flu season is in high gear as cases of influenza have ramped up over the last few weeks including the hospital’s first inpatient case of the flu.
“While we have had many positive outpatient influenza patients coming through the emergency room and urgent care since mid-December, we have also treated our first inpatient influenza patient of the 2020 flu season,” Tomah Health Infection Prevention practitioner and registered nurse Josephine Piper, R.N. said.
Piper said while most of the outpatient influenza patients have Influenza Type B, an inpatient was treated for Influenza Type A.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Types A and B are the more common forms of flu, routinely causing seasonal outbreaks, while Influenza A can cause a pandemic, which is a global spread of disease.
Despite high levels of flu, Piper said the peak of the season is yet to come. “Some experts are expecting this year’s flu season to be the worst in over a decade. It seems like it is a later season similar to last year when it went into May,” Piper added.
She said the influenza virus is particularly hard on the young and older population. Piper also strongly recommended getting a flu shot and practicing good hygiene including washing hands and avoid touching your face, especially in public. “If you are sick, be sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and stay home.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported high levels of flu in Wisconsin with 15 flu related deaths this season.
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