Flu numbers are rising in Wisconsin

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The widespread of flu has hit closer to home. Hospitals around Eau Claire are seeing much higher number of flu-related cases.

Mayo Clinic Health System - Eau Claire leaders said there were four positive cases of influenza out of 54 tested in November, and no one was hospitalized that months. However, in December numbers have sky-rocketed with 72 positive cases and 24 people admitted to the hospital with flu.

"We have been seeing a lot of it here. This is the peak of influenza season, it's simply the matter of people being indoors more, in close proximity, so it's being passed more easily,” said Emergency Physician with Mayo Clinic Health System Paul Horvath.

Doctors say the typical virus is not extremely dangerous to the majority of people, however, there are some high risks group that are more likely to see complications.

"When you talk about the elderly, or kids, especially under the age of 2, they are in higher risks for complications, pneumonia, and other secondary bacterial infections,” said Dr. Horvath.

"Every night we sanitize door knobs, we sanitize light switches, we sanitize classrooms every afternoon with bleach solution, all the toys. And with all of this we are still not able to keep the flu out,” said the owner of Altoona Child Care Center Jessica Schoettle.

Schoettle said she usually sees a lot more sick kids in the winter, but the end of December has definitely brought some unexpected numbers.

"About two weeks ago is when it really hit us, we had six to eight kids who called in sick,” said Schoettle.

Doctors urge everyone to get vaccinated, but there are some other simple steps anyone can follow.

“Those are hygiene and isolation; basically preventing that bug from spreading between people, covering your cough, covering your sneezes, washing your hands, if you are sick, stay home, stay out of public places where it's easy to transmit those things,” said Dr. Horvath.

“We wash hands, wash hands and wash hands; it is the only things that can keep you safe,” said Schoettle.

Schoettle also said that if a child has a temperature of 101 or higher she urges parents not to bring their kids into the day care. And Dr. Horvath mentioned that staying at home and "riding it out" is ok, but if symptoms are unusual and severe, the best thing is to see a doctor.


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