Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are saying the flu is “widespread” in 43 states — Illinois included, where 20 children have died due to the illness this season so far.
CBS Chicago reports that 43 people were admitted to intensive care units just in the past week for having the flu throughout Illinois.
“Every year it kind of spikes around this time, but certainly a little bit higher than expected this time of year,” Dr. Allison Foster told CBS Chicago.
The report said doctors across the country are seeing as many as 14,000 new cases of the flu a week.
Foster told CBS Chicago that she believes because a lot of parents no longer have the flu mist option, they are not bringing their kids in to get the flu vaccination shot.
“That was not available this year because it was found to not be nearly as effective as the traditional flu shot,” Foster told CBS Chicago. “So that certainly discouraged a certain number of patients from getting the flu vaccine this year.”
While hand washing will help prevent the spread of the flu, doctors advise receiving the vaccination is the best way to avoid getting sick.