By Christopher Skor
CHICAGO, Ill. (KSDK) - On Monday, Governor Pat Quinn and public health officials encouraged Illinois residents to get the flu shot.
Illinois is one of 24 states with higher than normal flu activity this season. Hospitalizations total 368 people thus far, with 27 flu-related deaths.
Public health officials note that flu related illness also hurts the economy. An estimated $87.1 billion is lost each flu season, the majority of which is due to lost work days.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, and has a success rate of approximately 62 percent.
Individuals that get sick despite getting vaccinated will still experience far less time with flu-like symptoms.
Over 60 percent of Americans still need the flu vaccine and one can search for nearby facilities that offer the flu shot by visiting www.idph.state.il.us and entering their zip code.
Getting vaccinated is not only important for the individual receiving the shot but also helps protect those who are at a higher risk for getting the flu; such as the elderly or infants.