77° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Health officials urge vaccination as flu cases increase

Published On: Jan 11 2013 08:12:31 PM CST

Confirmed flu cases in Wisconsin have nearly doubled in the last week as area health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called the outbreak an “epidemic.” The latest numbers indicate more than 4,200 cases have been confirmed across the state, according to the state Department of Health Services. The number is up from approximately 2,800 last week.

The numbers are already far above last year’s count, which reached about 2,000 total.

Dean Clinic and University of Wisconsin Health have both shifted staff to cover an uptick in requests for the flu vaccine. Both locations say they have ample supply and are still encouraging others to come in.

Milwaukee health officials noted the flu has not reached a critical level, but they will continue to monitor the illness closely. Officials added that area emergency rooms have seen tripled numbers compared to past years.

Pharmacies such as the Greenfield Pick N’ Save have seen increased business since Christmas, with individuals coming in to purchase Tamiflu and other medicine.

Near Rhinelander, school officials said at least one in five children have reported both respiratory and stomach bugs. Parents have reportedly kept their students home as a protective measure against the sickness that appears to be going around.

Wisconsin police have also taken extra precautions to avoid the flu. Green Bay police handed out masks for officers to wear this week when dealing with individuals who may have flu-like symptoms. Deputies in Brown County did the same.

  • James Foley in helmet

    Courtesy Dan Shakal

    Who was James Foley?

    James Foley was an American photojournalist who went missing in Syria almost two years ago. On Tuesday, August 19th, a video, apparently produced by ISIS as a warning to the US to stop air strikes against the group in Iraq, ended with Foley's beheading. Learn more about the life of the man whose his parents call a 'martyr for freedom.'

  • Police lights file 2

    Ridiculous 911 calls

    Have you ever considered calling 911 because of a massive spider in your house? How about because a McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Take a look at some of the strangest reasons people have recently called 911.

  • Credit cards

    Augie Martin/CNN

    Biggest data breaches of all time

    UPS is the latest company to fall victim to a data breach, this one affecting 51 stores in 24 states. Take a look at some of the biggest data breaches of all time.