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Flu Cases Nearing Numbers From 2009 Swine Flu Outbreak

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

Health officials across the country report flu cases are starting to match numbers seen from the H1N1 outbreak nearly a decade ago.

Credit Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson/ U.S. Air Force

There have been nearly as many doctor’s visits for flu-like illness now as there were in 2009 for swine flu nationwide. That’s according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Melaney Arnold is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She says the case numbers in the state are higher than most flu seasons in recent years, but they are not nearly as high as the peak seen in the 2009 through 2010 season. 


She says there was already a peak and a decrease for the season, but there appears to be another increase happening.


“One thing we do know about influenza, seasonal influenza, is that it is unpredictable,” she says.


Arnold says people should still get a flu shot if they haven’t already. She says as long as the flu season is still happening, people can receive the vaccine in the season’s 11 to 20 week duration.


Even if this year’s vaccine could only be 30 percent effective or less, Arnold says that is still better than no protection at all.


“Even if it is 30 percent effective, that’s still better than no protection,” she says.


Copyright 2021 WNIJ Northern Public Radio. To see more, visit WNIJ Northern Public Radio.

Katie Finlon is a general assignment reporter for WNIJ News. She got her start in public radio as an intern for the station and has contributed stories for them ever since. Katie earned her master’s degree in audio engineering after realizing that she loved audio editing and production during her WNIJ internship. That degree came after a bachelor’s in communication. Katie also has been Morning Edition producer for the station. Before moving into broadcast, she started her journalism career in print with her college newspaper and other local papers in northern Illinois. When she’s not in the newsroom, Katie loves spending down time with family and friends – preferably over dinner at one of her favorite Italian restaurants.