The Will County Health Department says reported cases of influenza are on the rise.
"Illinois is one of nearly 40 states currently experiencing widespread influenza activity and the Health Department will be monitoring school attendance to help gage the severity of the local problem," Vic Reato, Media Services Manager at Will County Health Department said in a written release.
And the recent bouts of the flu are serious.
"Last month, 19 Will County patients required Intensive Care Unit hospitalization due to influenza-related issues," the release stated.
This compares to only one in December 2011.
"We're seeing significant increases involving respiratory problems consistent with influenza-like illness," John Kahler M.D., FAAP, Chief Medical Officer for the Will County Community Health Center in Joliet said in a written release. "At our facility, patients presenting with ILI have increased by at least 20 percent. A flu shot is still a good idea for most of those who haven't received one yet."
- CVS: The locations at 3200 Caton Farm Road and 809 Plainfield Road offer flu vaccinations for adults (including the new, smaller-needle intradermal vaccine for ages 18-64) and children 18 months old and younger. Walk-ins are welcome, but shoppers can also schedule appointments by clicking here. Insurance accepted, including Medicare Part B.
- Walgreens: Flu vaccinations are available at Walgreens Take Care Clinics at 1163 W. Jefferson, 1514 Essington Road and 358 E. Cass St. Walk in anytime or schedule an appointment by clicking here. Most insurance accepted.
- Jewel-Osco: Jewel-Osco at 1401 W. Jefferson and at offers vaccinations for $29.99 ($59.99 for high-dose flu shots) and accepts most insurance, including Medicare. High dose, nasal spray and preservative-free formulations are available, along with the traditional seasonal vaccine. Click here to make an appointment.
- Meijer: Get a flu shot at the Plainfield Meijer for $24.99 (most insurance accepted). Vaccinations are available at Meijer to people ages 14 and older. Download a vaccination consent form here, and click here to download a physician notification form.
The flu is active in Illinois from October through May and usually spikes in January and February, shortly after school resumes following lengthy holiday breaks. Symptoms include muscle or body aches, headaches, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions or cause death.