The flu season is off to an early start this year in Wisconsin. Influenza or the flu is an infection affecting your respiratory tract (the mouth, nose, sinus, lungs/chest and throat). Unlike a cold, the flu can make you very ill and lead to pneumonia, a serious lung infection.
For some people, especially older adults, young children and people with certain chronic conditions, the flu can have serious complications and even be fatal. Each year there are about 36,000 flu-related deaths in the United States.
The flu season is off to an early start this year in Wisconsin. From Sept. 1 through Oct. 2, there have been 22 confirmed cases and 10 hospitalizations. There was a recent confirmed case that was hospitalized from our region.
Doctors say the flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get the vaccine. It is especially important for anyone with higher risk such as:
People 50 years of age and older
People of any age with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease
People living in nursing homes
Children age 6 months to 8 years who have not received two doses of seasonal flu vaccine in the past may need to receive two flu vaccines this year.
Have a question about the flu shot?
Call: (608) 775-0364
Gundersen will not offer this year's nasal mist flu vaccine.
Flu shot locations (during flu season)
La Crosse Clinic
ExpressCare Clinic, La Crosse (Village Shopping Center)
ExpressCare Clinic, Onalaska (Crossing Meadows Shopping Center)
Gundersen Health System will open their Flu Shot Clinics in La Crosse and Onalaska on Monday, Oct. 16.
The Flu Shot Clinics will be held on Gundersen's La Crosse campus on the third floor of the clinic and in the lower level of the Gundersen Onalaska Clinic. Both sites will be open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Nov. 22. No appointments are needed.
Flu shots are also available for anyone 2 years old and older at Express Care clinics which are located in the Village Shopping Center and in Crossing Meadows Shopping Center in Onalaska. Gundersen's clinics throughout the area are also offering the flu vaccine. Also, Cass Street Pharmacy will offer flu shots for anyone 6 years old and older.
Patients can already receive their flu shots at their regularly scheduled appointments, and hospitalized patients are offered vaccination against influenza prior to discharge.
All other area Gundersen medical clinics will offer flu shots for all ages by appointment during regular business hours.
For more information and to find the Gundersen location nearest you to receive the flu vaccine, go to gundersenhealth.org/flu.