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Flu season winds down


UNDATED (WSAU)   The worst of the flu season is behind us, at least in central Wisconsin.

Gannett newspapers also say the region’s outbreak of whooping cough from last year has virtually disappeared. Wisconsin’s flu season was the worst in years, and it started much earlier than normal.

Diane Rodd of the Wood County Health Department says it has peaked in many areas, but there’s still at least some flu going around. Wood, Marathon, and Portage counties have had over three times as many residents hospitalized by the flu this winter than last. Rodd also said disproportionate numbers of older people were hit by this year’s H-3-N-2 flu strain – the same as what Milwaukee officials reported a couple weeks ago. Experts said the season’s main vaccine was not very effective.

Meanwhile, officials say the whooping cough is ending a 3-to-5 year cycle. Marathon County had 315 confirmed cases last year, but only two cases have been reported there in 2013. Portage County had 225 cases last year – and less than five in the New Year so far.