Influenza (Flu)

Flu in Wisconsin

The flu is an illness caused by the influenza viruses. Flu goes around every year, with some years being worse than others. During the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 36,175 cases of the flu in Wisconsin. Of these, there were 4,425 flu-related hospitalizations and 183 deaths, including three children. Also of note, there were 73 hospitalizations among pregnant people and 14 hospitalizations among post-partum people - the highest number since DHS started monitoring this information. For weekly case count updates, please see the Weekly Respiratory Virus Surveillance Report.

This year, Wisconsin is also fighting COVID-19, a respiratory virus with similar symptoms to the flu. With both COVID-19 and the flu spreading this fall, it is especially important that we all get our flu vaccines. By doing so, we can help keep health care resources available to those with COVID-19 - a respiratory virus that unlike the flu does not yet have an effective vaccine.

People of all ages can get the flu, from babies and young adults to the elderly. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine (also called the "flu shot" or "flu immunization") each fall. Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you, but those around you who may be at greater risk for becoming very sick.

The vaccine is safe for those 6 months of age and older. Use the vaccine flu finder to find a flu vaccine location near you!

Now more than ever, getting your flu vaccine is one of the most important and proactive steps you can take to prevent not only yourself and the people you love, but also your community as a whole. Getting the flu means possibly facing severe illness that can result in hospitalization at a time when our frontline health workers are doing all they can to help COVID-19 patients recover.

This page has more general information on the flu, including information on signs and symptoms and resources.

This page has information on influenza data and the Weekly Respiratory Report.


This page is for local health departments, health care providers, or those looking for information on reporting, surveillance, or diagnosis of the flu.

This page has tips on ways to prevent the flu.


This page is for local health departments, health care providers, or those looking for resources for the flu education, outreach, vaccination logistics and quality improvement.

Questions about the flu? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last Revised: October 28, 2020