MADISON, Wisconsin – According to CDC, this flu season is the longest in decades. Although it's the longest time, local experts say it's not nearly as bad as it's been in recent years, but it's not over yet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that this year's flu season has been one of the longest since 1997, when it began keeping records and it is the longest in the last decade. Health experts say it started much later than normal this year, and we'll spend a few more weeks looking at it.
So far this season, up to 41.3 million people had influenza symptoms, with 19.4 million visits to the doctor and 610,000 in the hospital.
Nurse epidemiologist Ellen Smith at St. Mary's Hospital News 3 Now it's one of the strangest flu seasons she's seen in Madison over the years.
"We still have a significant disease in the community," Smith said. "Even if it looks like some cases are slimming down in terms of numbers, at least you want to protect yourself and protect your family, and there's more than one flu flu so it's important to protect yourself as well possible and protect your loved ones. "
While the flu season is coming to an end this year and is taking a long time this year, Smith says they have only about one third of the cases compared to last year and only half as many as in the previous year.
One reason for the long flu season is that two types of flu viruses have appeared at different times. The start of the season was H1N1, and as it went down, the H3N2 viruses rose.
While the flu drops, Smith says the virus can spread even in warmer weather. That's one of the reasons she's still encouraging you to get the flu shot if you have not already. We have reviewed and are available in many places in the community.
Along with the flu shot, Smith also encourages common sense precautions, such as washing hands and staying at home when he is ill, to prevent them from spreading.
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