Confirmed flu case in city of Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- A test for the influenza virus has come back positive in the city of Milwaukee.

City health officials confirm the case, raising the state total to 113 confirmed cases. Flu case numbers are increasing this year compared to last year as there were only 7 confirmed cases at the same time in 2011.

"It's just validating that flu is circulating in our community," Paul Biedrzycki of the Milwaukee Health Department said. "I fully expect we'll get additional isolates. But it really is meaningless in terms of characterizing the number of flu cases in the community."

However the numbers are helpful in terms of vaccinations.

"It helps us identify the strain of flu which is a type A and H3 strain. Getting those isolates helps us make sure that the predominant strain is a good match for the vaccine," Biedrzycki added. ""Testing for it early in the season validates the type of flu that's circulating and whether or not it's a good match for the vaccine. That's the most important, not  to gauge how much flu is out there."

A number of people on Milwaukee's east side told Fox 6 that the new case won't cause them to get a vaccination.

"No I don't think I'm going to get it. It's not worth it to me. I really don't like needles and I'm not really afraid of getting the flu," Michael Gold said.

"It's a bit concerning. But as long as I'm staying healthy, me personally I don't go out of my way to get a flu shot," James High said.

Along with the vaccination, health officials say good hygiene and common sense will help keep people from getting the flu.

"Public health advocates for good hygiene and cough etiquette, good hand washing and cough etiquette as well as vaccination," Biedrzycki said.

Health officials believe people should get vaccinated annually because the flu strains will change slightly and adjustments are made in the vaccination.