DHS tracks spike in non-COVID-19 respiratory illnesses

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:50 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is tracking a spike in non-Covid-19 respiratory illnesses in children and older adults.

Just in the last week the state saw around 80 children infected with an influenza like illness.

“At this time of year, we never have double digits as far as children of influenza like illness but to have 70 or 80 is really significant,” DHS Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist Tom Haupt said.

Haupt said cases may be rising as more people interact with each other.

“Some of these viruses have not been seen for over a year and a half. And they’re just starting to emerge again, but viruses do what viruses want to do, they’re very, very smart, there always seem to be one step ahead as we can see with COVID,” Haupt said.

It’s not just children who are at risk. Haupt said older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions, should be cautious with respiratory infections.

Similar to preventing COVID-19, in order to stop the spread, state health officials recommend washing your hands often, getting a flu vaccine, and staying home if you are sick.

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