The hospital said they have stocked up on the flu vaccine, which the Illinois Department of Public Health said is still the best way to deal with the threat of the flu, even into the second week of January. Last week, officials announced the deaths of three children due to the virus.
So far, 26 states are reporting high levels of outpatient visits for influenza-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease control.
'Usually during flu season we sell maybe one a day, ' he said.
We already mentioned the early outbreak.
"We watch flu very carefully throughout the health authority".
Bill Christian, a spokesman for the Department of Health, says their department learned of the woman's death Monday.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Flu season in IL appears to be peaking early this year, according to state records.
Flu season officially begins in October but this year's particularly risky strain, H3N2, has come relatively early and the season has not reached its peak yet.
"That strain of flu tends to change more rapidly than other strains, from the time we know it's circulating to the time the vaccine is made", says Dr. Sharon Welbel, of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.
Officials tell the Associated Press that most of the people who died were older than 70 and had underlying health conditions.
Of those, the CDC estimates that as many as 56,000 have died from the viral infection in a given recent year.
This year's flu vaccine is also considered to be only about 10% - 30% percent effective, and doctors are also having to treat two different strains of the virus.
There was "high activity" of the flu - the highest prevalence ranking - in almost half of the USA as reported last week.
The nasal spray, however, is not thought to be a worthwhile preventative measure against this flu.
Flu season typically peaks anywhere between December and March, according to the CDC.