influenza

National Archives and Records Administration

The worst pandemic in recent history, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was the 1918 so-called “Spanish flu” pandemic, caused by a virus “with genes of avian origin.” This was caused by a different virus than COVID-19 – coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hopkinsmedicine.org. Spanish flu hit America in the spring of 1918 and wasn’t finished with us until the summer of 1919. 

flu shot
Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson / U.S. Air Force

Last year brought a lot of flu activity across the state and this year health professionals are urging the public to roll up their sleeves and get flu shots early this year. 

flu shot
Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson / U.S. Air Force

Several areas throughout Illinois are experiencing heightened flu activity and one preliminary report shows the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective.  

Peapod Labs/flickr

Illinois is reporting widespread flu activity earlier than most years.  Widespread means the flu is showing up statewide.  Illinois tracks people hospitalized for the flu. That number is above 200 with nearly half the cases in the week that ended December 13th. 

Of course, that fails to count those who have the symptoms but are recuperating at home.