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posted: 12/28/2013 8:00 AM

Milder flu season in Kane County — so far

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The flu bug is lacking the bite it had last year in Kane County, but health officials say a flu shot still is a good idea, as now is when the virus tends to thrive.

This time last year, local medical labs were confirming flu infections in hundreds of Kane County residents each week. This year, 25 is the maximum number of confirmed cases in a single week through Dec. 14.

"Last year at this time we saw a spike in the number of influenza-like illnesses," said Tom Schlueter, spokesman for the Kane County Health Department. "So far this year, we haven't seen that spike. But the flu usually peaks in January and February, which is why it's not too late to get vaccinated."

Confirmed cases of the flu numbered as high as about 500 a week from late December to late January last winter when they began to taper off. This year, there have been only 88 confirmed cases of the flu reported to the health department through the first 11 weeks of the flu season. More than 3,000 cases were reported for the entire season last year.

Influenza type A is the form of the virus affecting the most people, same as last year.

Flu shots are available at most drugstores. The county also runs a walk-in flu clinic at the health department's Aurora office at 1240 N. Highland Ave. Clinic hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Flu shots through the county are available for $15. The department accepts most forms of insurance. Check to see if your insurance is accepted by calling the health department's immunization hotline: (866) 233-9493.

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