ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) – The St. Louis County health department says more flu cases have already been reported this year than last.
Most of the country is seeing high levels of flu-like illnesses and the St. Louis area is no different.
Last year, the department reported about 1,400 flu cases between October of 2011 and April of 2012. This flu season, the county estimates they have already seen 1,464 cases.
“While the severity of this flu season remains unpredictable, we know that an increasing number of people are getting sick with the flu and we are getting reports of severe illness and hospitalizations,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the St. Louis County Department of Health.
Dr. Gunn continued by emphasizing the importance of the vaccination.
“It’s not just about protecting yourself. If you don’t catch the flu, then you can’t spread it to others,” she said.
Officials said the predominant strain in St. Louis County this year has been influenza B, while influenza A has been more common in past years. Symptoms of Influenza B can be worse than those of type A, according to health officials.
The flu vaccine provides protection against both strains.
Residents who still need the seasonal flu vaccine can click here to find out where they can be vaccinated.