flu season

The flu season in Illinois is especially rough this year. And physicians think they know why.

The flu struck early and hard this year. Brian Curtis is the Director of Physician Practice at OSF Medical Group in Peoria, and he says the flu peaked right around Christmas, instead of the usual peak time in late January.

CURTIS: “It was kind of an inopportune time with the holidays and gatherings that people have which gave a prime opportunity to share it.”

Melanie Hayes [Flickr] / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0

The Peoria City/County Health Department is urging people who feel sick or have a fever to stay home. Peoria Health Department Officials say there is widespread flu activity in the Peoria Region. A statement from the agency says local hospital emergency departments and the emergency 911 system are responding to a higher number of people seeking care for flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, muscle and body aches, headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Health officials say reports of influenza are down this winter in Illinois compared with recent years.  Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that that from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, there were 49 flu-related intensive care unit admissions and two outbreaks.