Man, woman from Two Rivers die as a result of flu

Photo courtesy MGN Online

TWO RIVERS (WLUK) -- The flu is being blamed for two deaths over the weekend in Two Rivers.

Manitowoc County Coroner Curtis Green says the flu victims are a 56-year-old man and 48-year-old woman, who lived together. Their names have not been released.

Green says the Two Rivers man did seek treatment at the hospital. However, the woman did not.

Similar to the rest of the country, the flu seems considerably more dangerous this season in Manitowoc County.

“We have seen an increase in the number of influenza hospitalizations,” said Mary Halada, nurse manager for Manitowoc County Health Department.

For the 2016-17 flu season, Manitowoc County had 72 confirmed or probable influenza hospitalizations. This flu season is at 69 hospitalizations with five months left to add to that number.

While the flu turned deadly this weekend in the county, it's unknown how rare or common that is, because the state only keeps track of children who die from the flu.

“The only way you'd have someone with an influenza death is if they're tested for it,” said Thomas Haupt, Wisconsin’s influenza surveillance coordinator. “Many times they're not. They may have pneumonia, viral pneumonia, but there is no way to say if they have influenza or not.”

So far, no children have died in Wisconsin this year as a result of the flu. Haupt says at least one child has died each flu season since the state started tracking pediatric influenza deaths in 2010.

Health officials say the flu is typically most dangerous for the very young and the elderly. However, those ages in between are not immune to the risk. The deaths from this weekend are prime examples.

“Some people do have immune-compromised systems and if you do develop the flu, it could develop into something more severe like pneumonia and that's typically where people become really ill,” said Halada.

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