The state is reporting the first child death from the flu in Wisconsin this season. So far, one pediatric death in the state has been linked to the flu.
Private health care providers, meanwhile, were encouraged to procure the influenza vaccine through private distributors in order to provide for the general population.Vaccination for influenza is recommended annually (before the start of the flu season). "We are seeing high levels of influenza-like illness activity".
The health department reported 22 people died through the week of January 4 from influenza-associated illnesses, an increase of 13 over the previous week.
The health department said flu-associated deaths are reportable within 72 hours, but not all cases are reported in a timely manner, so some cases might be back-reported.
"We've got a kind of smorgasbord of the respiratory viruses out there now", said Skowronski. "Going into this season we were anticipating that maybe we were off the hook a little bit this year with maybe a milder season and that is what seems to be panning out".
Health officials say the best way to protect yourself is to get your flu shot, and it's not too late.
The most recent report from the department on Monday says Douglas County has had 3,758 lab-confirmed flu cases this flu season.
Almost 10 million Americans have been sickened by the flu virus so far this winter, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That year had turned out to be among the worst in close to a decade as per the data which has been released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. MDHHS says it's especially important for those at an increased risk for flu complications, including children, adults 65 or older and pregnant women. Wash your hands often and avoid other sick people.