Flu Trend in Illinois 'Low,' CDC Says
You are not alone if the flu hits, but you may have less company than last year.
Illinois is having a milder year, relatively, when it comes to the flu.
State-wide flu activity as captured by Google flu trends is lower compared to 2012-2013, which peaked with "intense" activity in January and remained high through February and much of March. ( Details on how Google compiles this information.)
Although the CDC reports that Illinois' flu activity remained "widespread" for the most recent activity estimate ending Feb. 1, the Google map compares current data with historic flu activity.
That's not to say the flu isn't just as deadly as any other year, especially for the very young, very old and those with compromised immune systems.
The region that encompasses Illinois has already had two pediatric deaths attributed to the flu, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of the cases in the region are being diagnosed as 2009's H1N1 virus.
To protect yourself and others from the flu the CDC strongly recommends everyone get the flu vaccine and practice the best possible germ control: washing your hands often and covering your cough.
To find a flu shot near you, use this handy tool. It's not too late to get one.