Flu vaccinations down in Wisconsin

Posted Friday, December 13, 2013 --- 6:19 p.m.

You might walk past the signs everyday, asking if you've gotten your flu shot yet, and if you haven't, you could not only be putting yourself in danger but your whole family.

100,000 fewer people have been vaccinated for the flu in Wisconsin this year compared to last year, according to the Department of Public Health. They say they don't know why the numbers are low, but it's not putting the state in a good place to handle the virus.

"It was pretty, pretty rough."

Michelle Marx lives in the Village of Brooklyn south of Madison with her son and husband. She says ever since her son was born, she gets a flu shot, but this year things got busy.

"I kept meaning to and I actually figured I'd do it that week because I was going to have a few days off."

But before she could catch up with the holiday hustle and bustle, she caught the flu.

"It happened pretty quickly it was on a Monday I started to feel a little tickle and by that night I was in bed coughing."

Falling right inside this years at-risk age range---18 to 49. Thomas Haupt with the state health department says this year H1N1 is back.

"That's the same virus that caused the pandemic back in 2009."

So Thomas says, banking on being young and healthy won't help you out this year.

"Our hospitalizations have increased, up to we have 84 cases, 31 identified this week and 7 in Dane County."

He says it's not only important to get vaccinated for yourself but for anyone around you, not getting a shot can put your family's, co-worker's and even strangers in the elevator's health in jeopardy. And if you're holding off because you think that shot will make you sick....think again.

"False. An influenza vaccine will not cause influenza, there are some minor reactions especially at the site of the injections."

And after being in bed for a week and missing Thanksgiving dinner with her family because of the virus, Michelle says she's not going to let it happen again.

And a few other things Thomas says, if you feel flu like symptoms, aches, fevers, chills--stay at home. He says trying to go to work or school will risk spreading the virus. He also says in 2009 this strain of flu caused problems for pregnant women, he says if you are pregnant make sure to get the vaccination.

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