As flu season peaks in this region and the threat, globally, of the Coronavirus continues to grow, state health officials are saying while more people have gotten influenza shots, more than half have not.
State Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist Tom Haupt says the flu has impacted Wisconsin..
"I really think the way the flu has increased in the past few weeks in its intensity statewide, especially hitting younger populations, people need to be aware. Unfortunately, we've had three pediatric deaths reported this year and over 40 people who have died from complications of the flu..."
Haupt says 41 percent of state residents have gotten the flu vaccine, but he says that means almost 60 percent have not. He says the most recent strains of the flu have affected young people more than the older populations. Haupt says children and seniors tend to get the flu shots, but people 18-49 lag and that group has been hit hard by the flu this season.
Haupt says it's still not too late to get a shot.
Regarding Coronavirus, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard says China has implemented standard policies to contain the spread of the respiratory virus...
"We need to get people who have the virus, who have it in their respiratory droplets far away enough from people that they won't transmit it by coughing or speaking with somebody. That's really the fundamental activity. Now how you do that on a societal level when there's thousands of people infected, you use different tools than when you do when there's one person in the room. So restricting travel and canceling public events are tools that can be used for that purpose..."
Haupt says the Coronavirus can be spread within a range of six feet. Dr. Westergaard says masks are effective in checking the spread of the virus but he says in public, masks are not needed at this time.
Audio courtesy Wisconsin Eye. We have a link to the full interview here.