Importance of Influenza Vaccine
State health officials are reminding people of the importance of getting your influenza vaccine each year with the first influenza-related death being reported in Vilas County. The number of people who actually become ill each season is unknown since flu is not a reportable disease.
"The best protection against the flu is getting immunized which may help prevent serious illness, or even death," said Dr. Sheri Johnson, State Health Officer. "We recommend young children, older adults, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women get immunized."
The influenza vaccine is recommended for:
- children six months to five years of age
- people 50 years of age and older
- people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease
- healthcare workers
- caregivers of infants and children
- household contacts and caregivers of people at risk of developing complications due to influenza
- pregnant women (research shows newborns may be protected from the flu for up to six months if the mother is vaccinated)
Even though this year's flu season is considered mild, influenza can cause serious illness or complications for those that already have underlying health conditions.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus and symptoms include fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches/pains. "Flu" illness ranges from very mild to severe cases, and in some instances, can cause life-threatening complications.
Wisconsin reported its first influenza case in November 2006 and the typical season in Wisconsin runs until April.