CHICAGO | Flu viruses are spreading in Illinois and the leading strain that's being detected in lab tests is H1N1. That's the same "swine flu" strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.
Health officials say statewide flu activity is "regional," a step below "widespread" and meaning flu has been confirmed in less than half the regions of the state.
In Chicago, hospitals are reporting an increase in emergency room visits from people with flu-like symptoms. But levels are half what they were during the same week last season.
Dr. Julie Morita, of the Chicago Department of Public Health, says the illnesses are a reminder that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot. This year's influenza vaccine protects against the H1N1 strain, and vaccine supplies are good.