MADISON, Wis. -- State health officials say the flu season is off to an early and deadly start in Wisconsin.
The Division of Public Health says four flu-related deaths have been reported and 26 people have been hospitalized. State epidemiologist Tom Haupt says in the last two to three flu seasons, no flu-related hospitalizations were reported before January.
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says 113 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases were reported statewide between Oct. 5 and Friday, compared with seven cases at this time last year.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's the earliest flu season in nearly a decade.