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Flu outbreak 2013: Illinois deaths surge to 58

The flu strain makes people sicker this year.

The flu virus is taking no prisoners in the state of Illinois and is especially deadly for residents over the age of 50.

Also, this year’s flu strain makes people more ill when compared to previous flu seasons. Symptoms of the flu include severe body ache, fatigue, cough and sore throat. Flu symptoms subside, typically within two weeks, however, other illnesses such as pneumonia can develop.

State health officials have reported that flu activity in Illinois struck earlier than usual and remains high, to date, 534 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 58 have died, reports Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Fifty-seven of the 58 deaths were people ages 50 or older.

Flu.gov recommends that if you have the flu you should: “Stay home and follow your health care provider’s recommendations. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about over-the-counter and prescription medications to ease flu symptoms and help you feel better faster.”