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Nine hospitalized from flu in county

Pierce County is experiencing a flu outbreak just like the rest of the country.

As of Jan. 18, the health department has received reports of nine people hospitalized with confirmed influenza A from Pierce County. This compares with one at this point from last season.

The state does not report influenza-associated deaths, except for children under 18. One Wisconsin child has died because of flu this season.

Flu is a very contagious respiratory illness and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) emphasizes the best way to prevent it is to get vaccinated each year. Anyone who wishes to reduce the chance of contracting influenza should get a flu shot. They are not only protecting themselves, but also their family and friends.

A person with the flu may have some or all of these symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and often extreme fatigue. 

Findings from early information suggest this season's vaccine so far is reducing the risk of having to go to the doctor for influenza by about 60 percent for people who got vaccinated. Also, influenza vaccination, even with moderate effectiveness, has been shown to offer substantial other benefits including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations and death.

For more please read the Jan. 23 print version of the Herald.