influenza

"Syringe and Vaccine" by Flickr User NIAID / (CC X 2.0)

The less painful way to fight influenza may not be the best option this year.

The flu vaccine shot's effectiveness was around 60 percent last year. Illinois health officials are questioning how well the nasal spray alternative worked.

So they recommend people stick with the vaccine shot this season, which is updated to match circulating viruses.

Melaney Arnold, with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says the flu has symptoms similar to the common cold.

Winnebago County Sees Flu Increase

Nov 28, 2014
CDC

The Winnebago County Health Department reported an increase in flu cases in the past week. It expects further increases in the coming weeks. 

The department tracks flu-like illness using emergency room data from two health systems and three local sentinel sites. Flu poses the most serious risk to children under 5 years, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with certain long-term medical conditions.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent getting influenza.

Minnesota Department of Public Health

The flu season is raging in Illinois. Twenty-seven Illinoisans have died so far and 368 have been admitted to hospital intensive care units.