27 flu deaths in Ill. this year; none last year

January 14, 2013 2:31:55 PM PST
Governor Pat Quinn wants you to get a flu shot. On Monday, Quinn and public health officials urged the public to get vaccinated.

A nurse at Walgreens Take Care Clinic near the Chatham neighborhood takes time for a hand wash lesson. Good hygiene is key to preventing flu. Health care experts also recommend getting vaccinated.

"This sound serious," said Trevor Steele. "Sounds too serious. Too many people dying from it. Came in for it."

Walgreens just got an extra shipment of flu vaccines Monday.

"They've actually been rotating or moving the vaccine around. So whatever store is in need or needs it the most. We are shipping the vaccine to those stores," said Tonya Payton-Campbell, Walgreens pharmacy manager.

Governor Quinn urged everyone to get a flu vaccine. He says he got his and hopes Illinoisans will help prevent the spread of the virus during this deadly flu season.

"We have to protect ourselves against that virus. We want to help our neighbor, folks in our family, people we work with, people we go to church with," he said. "It's all about helping each other."

"We have a great vaccine. There is a vaccine that covers or protects you from that particular virus. So we want you to go get vaccinated," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, Ill. Dept. of Public Health director.

For bank teller Lillian Payton, it's day two home from work. She said she hopes some over-the-counter medicines will help her ride out her illness at home.

"Bills have to get paid, can't afford to get sick. I already took two days off, so trying to get it together," she said.

We have not peaked yet. The number of cases is rising. And to give you perspective, last year we saw no deaths due to influenza in Illinois. But this year already, 27 people have died.