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Flu activity is on rise; vaccine still available

Preliminary reports show flu is spreading in Will County area

JOLIET, Ill. — Illinois is one of 16 states reporting high levels of influenza-like illness (ILI.)

The Will County Health Department reminds area residents that flu shots are still available and strongly recommended.

“We’re seeing significantly more ILI,” said Dr. John Kahler, FAAP Chief Medical Officer for the Will County Community Health Center in Joliet. “The incidence of respiratory illness at our facility has increased by at least 20 percent. We know the viruses are out there.”

Through the week ending Dec. 22 (the most recent National Centers for Disease Control reporting period), Illinois joined Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio as the Midwestern states reporting the highest rates of ILI.

There is no available data regarding Will County ILI activity, but preliminary reports indicate local flu activity is increasing.

“We typically see a surge in influenza around the New Year,” Health Department Executive Director John Cicero said. “We just want people to know that it’s not too late for a flu shot.

Vaccine is readily available and is still the best option for people who wish to be protected against the flu.”

Shots are available at physician’s offices, local pharmacies, some grocery stores and from the health department. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov .

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