By Shereen Siewert
Influenza is now widespread in Wisconsin with a rapid surge in cases in the last two weeks of December, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC tracks flu activity through key flu indicators, including the percentage of influenza-like illness visits to outpatient clinics, the rates of influenza-associated hospitalizations, and the percentage of deaths resulting from pneumonia or flu.
The most recent analysis includes influenza instances confirmed through Dec. 28 and brings the total number of positive flu results to 3,092 since Sept. 1.
To date, about 40 percent of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of the influenza vaccine in the 2019-2020 flu season, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. Though the rate is higher than that of the previous year, vaccination rates fall sharply short of the state’s 70 percent goal.
A total of 459 influenza-related hospitalizations have been reported since Sept. 1 in Wisconsin, with 64 of those patients being admitted to the ICU, according to Wisconsin health officials.
In all, 11 influenza deaths have so far been reported in Wisconsin for the current flu season, along with 798 pneumonia-related deaths, the Department of Public Health reports.
Influenza B (Victoria lineage) continues to be the predominant influenza virus in Wisconsin. Influenza B viruses can be particularly deadly to the younger population, according to CDC officials.
For more data, visit the CDC influenza information page.