Wisconsin has identified its first laboratory confirmed case of influenza this season

Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services has announced that Wisconsin has identified its first laboratory confirmed case of influenza this season.

Public health officials in the department said the case, confirmed by the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene to be influenza type A (H3 subtype), involves an adult female from Waupaca County. She had no history of travel outside the state during the week prior to illness. The patient was not hospitalized and has made a complete recovery. Further tests to determine if the influenza virus identified is similar to the strain contained in this year’s vaccine are pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

"This culture-confirmed case of influenza reinforces the need to work cooperatively this season to protect persons at greatest risk of complications from influenza," said Jeffrey P. Davis, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases.

"While it is too soon to tell if this case marks the start of more widespread transmission throughout Wisconsin, we strongly recommend that those groups at highest risk for influenza complications be vaccinated as soon as possible," Nelson said.

It takes two to three weeks after vaccination for a person to develop sufficient antibodies to provide effective protection from influenza.

To increase the likelihood that vaccine will be given to those who need it most, Nelson said her department has developed and distributed a checklist for vaccination clinics throughout the state. "This checklist will be used as a screening tool to identify individuals in high-risk categories," Nelson said. "Those who are not high risk will be asked to forego vaccination."

Influenza is an acute, contagious respiratory infection characterized by the sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, tenderness or pain in the muscles, and sometimes absolute exhaustion.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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