Medicine

Flu cases rising; DPH upgrades category to 'regional'

Flu cases rising; DPH upgrades category to 'regional'

According to the CDC, flu activity most commonly peaks in the USA between December and February.

According to state health officials, since the start of the season - more than 1,500 Missourians are confirmed to have the flu.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention releases a weekly flu report where it tracks flu activity across the country.

Tis the season for the flu. "But this year, all indications are that we are seeing more flu earlier in the year and we anticipate more cases", said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

This season, only injectable flu vaccines are recommended.

There are a several different strains of flu viruses, and the main culprit in Australia was a strain called H3N2.

More news: Obama addresses climate change summit

Health officials say you should still get the flu shot. That's more than double what they were at this time a year ago.

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and while experts say the vaccine may not be as effective this season as they had hoped, it can still minimize symptoms.

There are two major things that could contribute to this.

Circulating influenza strains may mutate after the World Health Organization decides what should go into that year's vaccine. The CDC suggests everyone six month old or older get a flu shot each year.

"Even if it may not fully protect you, there's no question it reduces the chance of very severe illness and hospitalization", Englender said.


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