Flu in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin State Department of Health Services has declared that “flu has arrived early in Wisconsin.” (11/20 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). This declaration was based on having 25 lab-confirmed influenza cases and 15 hospitalized cases statewide, half of which are in Milwaukee County. To date, influenza strains circulating in Wisconsin are contained in the 2013-14 Seasonal Flu Vaccine. OutSmart Flu will inform you if and when a strain not in this year’s vaccine becomes predominant.
ILI surveillance by the CDC, Google Flu Trends, UHS, and OutSmart Flu all indicate that flu transmission is still low.
The next 4 figures depict flu transmission in the U.S. and in Madison, WI to date.
More flu in southern U.S. Sporadic transmission in Wisconsin
Google Flu Trends (11/21/13) depicts a similar pattern
Flu transmission in the U.S. this year (red) vs. previous years
Flu in Madison this year (thick) vs. previous years (thin)
Million Dollar Question
How intense will flu transmission be this year?
It’s hard to know. 2012-13 was very intense. 2011-12 not as much.
This is why daily ILI surveillance by OutSmart Flu is potentially valuable.
This is an opportune time of year for flu transmission, particularly to those most vulnerable: crowded airplanes and buses, spending time with grandparents, meeting the new baby, packed movie theaters, Black Friday shopping, travel back to campus.
Proper hand washing is especially important to help prevent the spread of germs like influenza.
Updated app available
We released updated versions of OutSmart Flu that fix the multiple surveys bug. Please update your app on Google Play or iTunes.
We are working on other fixes and improvements. Please continue to send us feedback (see the “settings” tab) to help improve the OutSmart Flu Initiative at UW-Madison.