Wisconsin and much of the United States are experiencing a "second wave" of end-of-season flu, the state's Department of Health said Monday.
An increasing number of these cases also involve a strain of influenza virus for which this season's vaccine is ineffective, said the Wisconsin Health Services Department. The effectiveness of the vaccine should continue to decline.
A map of flu control and prevention centers across the country shows that the virus was widespread in most of the United States until March 16.
In Wisconsin, most of the state knew high rates of flu-like activity until March 16, according to a map of the state's Department of Health. The southeastern part of the state, excluding Dane County, was the only region of Wisconsin "located below the baseline" until the same date.
The state said the flu had resulted in the hospitalization of 390 people during the week ending March 16th.
The symptoms of the virus – which is transmitted by infected persons or by objects they have touched – include chills, fever, headache, sore throat, throat, fatigue, a dry cough and a runny or congested nose.
Although most viruses recover in less than two weeks, the virus is especially dangerous for people over 65, pregnant women or for health problems such as diabetes or kidney disease.
In addition to vaccination, frequent hand washing, avoidance of contact with infected persons, and disinfection of affected areas are often ways to prevent getting the flu.
Infected people should stay at home after work or school and avoid going out at least 24 hours after the disappearance of fever without the use of medication.