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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

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Disease Reporting

Influenza (Flu)

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Influenza is a contagious disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs). It can cause mild to severe illness, sometimes leading to death. Influenza symptoms often begin suddenly, with fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. The best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated each year.

Seasonal influenza refers to influenza strains that circulate each year and are most common during the winter months in Wisconsin. Avian influenza (bird flu) refers to influenza A viruses that usually infect birds, but can occasionally infect humans. Swine flu infections usually infect pigs and boars, however they can occasionally occur in humans.

DHS Influenza Coordinator Tom Haupt and Dan Hopfensperger, Director of the Wisconsin Immunization Program, were guests on the Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) discussing the flu season and the importance of getting the flu vaccine. Wisconsin Public Radio, January 16, 2014

Pandemic influenza is when a new (novel) and highly contagious influenza virus emerges and infects many people worldwide. Because humans have little natural immunity to this new virus, the disease can spread easily from person to person and sometimes can cause severe disease. The last influenza pandemic occurred during 2009-2010.

General information

Influenza vaccination and other prevention information

Information for health professionals

Influenza surveillance

Additional resources


Wisconsin Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies

Thomas Haupt, Influenza Surveillance Coordinator
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases
Phone 608-266-5326 | Fax 608-261-4976

Last Revised: November 06, 2014