MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin adults age 18 to 64 have one of the nation's lowest flu vaccination rates -- and they're the ones most likely to be hospitalized this winter.
The Trust for America's Health said Tuesday that Wisconsin ranks 47th among the 50 states in the percentage of young and middle-aged adults with flu shots.
Also, the Badger State was one of just three in which flu vaccination rates dropped from a year ago. Kansas and Florida were the others.
State health officials said almost 600 people were hospitalized with the flu from October 5th through January 9th. About two-thirds of those people were adults 18 to 64 -- not the children and seniors who are normally the biggest targets for hospitalization.
The Trust for America's Health says we only have ourselves to blame. Just 15 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds had flu shots as of January 9th. Twenty percent of 25 to 49-year-olds were immunized, as were 35 percent of 50 to 64-year-olds.
Milwaukee has about a quarter of the state's flu hospitalizations -- and city health officials say those cases are 40 percent higher than a year ago. Also, they're the highest since the swine flu pandemic of 2009.
The H1N1 swine flu is the most common flu in the state again this winter, although not as prevalent as in '09.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)