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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.
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.
Influenza vaccination and other prevention information
Information for health professionals
Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies
Influenza Surveillance Coordinator
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-266-5326) (Fax 608-261-4976)
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April 19, 2013