Illinois flu cases climb; 27 deaths this season


CHICAGO (AP) -- Authorities say the risk of flu infection remains high in Illinois, but there's plenty of vaccine available.


Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Friday that 368 people in the state have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 27 have died.


Most of the hospitalizations and deaths are among people in their 50s and older. No children have died.


Health officials expect an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths as more doctors and hospitals report cases from previous weeks along with their current cases.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Illinois among the 24 states hardest hit by the flu.


   Officials say hand washing and staying home when you're sick can keep the flu from spreading.

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