INTERVIEW: Prevea Health CEO on rise in flu cases

Flu season started earlier and is hitting more people this year
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 7:03 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Health systems are reporting record numbers of flu cases.

U.W. Health says it treated 425 two weeks ago, their latest data available. That was a higher number than any seen in 2019-20, the last flu season before the pandemic. That flu season peaked in February, by the way.

The latest numbers, from November, show people testing positive for the flu in Wisconsin doubled the week before Thanksgiving, from 7% to 14%.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) designates Northeast Wisconsin at a high level for flu-like illnesses.

Our expert throughout the pandemic, Dr. Ashok Rai, the president and CEO of Prevea Health, spoke with Action 2 News at 4:30 anchor Chris Roth about whether people should be concerned about the early rise in flu cases and whether there’s concern among health care workers that people have become numb to health warnings over the last few years.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may recall people saying “the flu has killed more people than COVID.” That quickly changed. Dr. Rai talks about how dangerous the flu is, and who faces the greatest risk, especially as we’re also still battling COVID and now RSV.

He also offers his best tips for dealing with this surge in flu cases and staying healthy through the holiday season.