Wisconsin reports its first influenza case of the season

State health officials in Wisconsin announced last week that an adult from the northeastern part of the state is the first confirmed case of influenza among state residents for the 2011-12 influenza season.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Flu illness ranges from very mild to severe cases and in some instances it can cause life-threatening complications, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.
"This laboratory-confirmed case indicates that influenza has arrived in Wisconsin and serves as a reminder to everyone to get their flu shot if they haven't already done so," Henry Anderson, a state health officer, said, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. "Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to avoid getting the flu."
The first case indicates an early start to flu season for Wisconsin, which typically runs from November to March, with peak activity around late-January or February. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza vaccine will continue to be shipped to Wisconsin throughout the flu season.
"There is still time for the vaccine to be effective and help prevent complications that can be caused by the flu, such as pneumonia or hospitalization," Anderson said, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.
Influenza symptoms include fever, nasal congestion, dry cough, headache, sore throat, body aches and tiredness.