State and local health officials are encouraging residents to get their flu shot. According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin has seen an increase in the number of hospitalizations resulting from influenza. The influenza virus causing most of these serious infections is the 2009 A/H1N1 virus, the same virus that caused the influenza pandemic during 2009. In fact, there has been a confirmed case of H1N1 in Tomah. State Health Officer Karen McKeown says that the best protection against the flu is getting vaccinated annually. The state department reports that there have already been 565 influenza-associated hospitalizations reported since October 5. 75 percent of these hospitalizations have been reported since December 14. Juneau County Health Officer Barbara Theis says there are several ways to help prevent the spread of flu: Wash your hands often with soap and water, cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve, don’t share drinking cups and straws, avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms, eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest and do not smoke. She also says if you think you have the flu, stay home, get rest, and drink plenty of liquids.  Contact your local health department for more information on how get a flu vaccine or more information on influenza.