More severe strain of flu more prevalent in Northeast Wisconsin


DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) — The strain of influenza hitting Northeast Wisconsin is especially bad and can cause more severe symptoms than usual.

Dozens of people in the area have already been hospitalized from it and flu season hasn’t peaked it.

When a person gets the flu, it hits them like a ton of bricks for about a week.

“Fever, chills, dry cough, general body aches,” said Debbie Armbruster, City of De Pere health director.

Northeast Wisconsin is seeing more cases of the flu this year than the rest of the state.

While the state, as a whole, is seeing low flu activity, the northeast region is seeing moderate.

The area is also seeing a majority of cases test positive as Influenza A, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said has caused more severe symptoms and death in the past.

Doctors kept 10 people overnight at Bellin Hospital and 10 people overnight at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital or HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Green Bay.

The health department says flu season likely hasn’t peaked and it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

Officials said the shot takes a few weeks to take effect so getting it sooner rather than later is good.

“We have at least three months where the flu season can still be in effect,” Armbruster said.

The vaccine is not 100 percent effective, but if you do get sick and were immunized, you may be in luck.

“Generally minimizes the severity of the symptoms it doesn’t necessarily stop it,” said Armbruster.

It is important to keep healthy habits.

“Hand washing is, of course, one of the biggest things,” said Armbruster.

Rest, fluids, and good nutrition are key components to getting better once ill.