Flu season has arrived in force in some Illinois communities

LITCHFIELD (Illinois News Network) — Illinois is not escaping the flu outbreak that has swept across parts of the country.

The Illinois Department of Public Health does not track flu cases, just the number of people who are hospitalized.

So it’s up to local public health departments to paint the picture of Illinois’ early flu season, and the picture isn’t pretty.

Litchfield schools, in Montgomery County, canceled classes last week because so many students and teachers were out sick.

Montgomery County Public Health Administrator Hugh Satterlee said that Litchfield’s flu outbreak was the worst in the county and one of the worst in the state.

“They had triple digits of kids out sick and being sent home from school,” Satterlee said. “Things were even more difficult because they had staff that was out.”

Hillsboro and a handful of other south-central Illinois schools have also seen high numbers of absences due to the flu.

Satterlee said he’s seen a slight uptick in the number of people looking for flu shots. For some people, it’s a good thing. They kick-in after two weeks, according to Satterlee, but won’t help you much if you’re sick already.

The CDC last week said that flu season across the country looks to be early and severe.

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