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State

Flu widespread in Illinois; 6 deaths this season

SPRINGFIELD – Health officials are expecting an increase in flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in Illinois with cases now reported widely.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that flu activity is now widespread, meaning the virus is showing up in at least half the state.

Health department director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says it's not too late to get a flu shot. So far this season, 122 people have been admitted to Illinois hospital influenza intensive care units with the flu. There have been six deaths.

The most common flu strain this season is H1N1. Health experts say that strain seems to hit younger adults and children harder than adults older than 65. Some who have been severely ill with complications this year have been younger people with no underlying health problems.

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