Cases of flu, common cold expected to pick up across Wisconsin

WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. -- The chillier weather on tap this weekend has health professionals preparing for more cases of the common cold. 

"There's definitely more sickness going around," said Ben Jones, Health Officer with the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services. 

Jones said the common cold is going around right now and is commonly the most predominant illness at this time of year. 

Jones said it's important to regularly wash your hands to avoid getting sick. 

He said reports of the common cold tend to decline around the end of November before flu season picks up around the holidays. 

"It's always hard to predict," Jones said. "You never know exactly when it’s going to hit. Certain areas are affected more than others so it can come in waves." 

He added the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services has already received reports of the flu. 

"Flu is already starting to pick up, and it's actually kind of early for the flu to be picking up," Jones said. "We've already had three hospitalizations due to the flu in Waukesha County, which is more than we've typically seen in previous years." 

Jones said there have been close to 30 hospitalizations due to the flu statewide. 

He estimates about 12 percent of the public has so far received a flu shot. 

Jones said getting a flu shot helps protect the recipient as well as those around them who might be extra susceptible to getting sick -- like the very young, elderly, or chronically ill. 

He said early indications are this year's flu shot will be a good match for the strain expected to go around. 

To keep track of which areas of the state are being impacted by the flu this winter, click here.

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