Young adults hit hard by flu; doctors say too many skipping flu shot

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by KMOV.com Staff | @KMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 7:44 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Many young adults who opted not to get the flu vaccine are now paying a steep price this winter.

Statistics from the St. Louis County Health Department show flu cases among 20-34 year olds are outpacing every other age group except infants.

“We’re seeing a lot of very, very sick young adults who are admitted to the hospital and the intensive care unit,” says Dr. Hilary Babcock of Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Related: Flu widespread in Illinois; 6 deaths this season

Dr. Babcock says they’ve also seen some young adults dying from flu complications.

Doctors say many young adults are simply not getting the flu shot.

“They’re not seeing doctors, they’re not going to hospitals, they’re not connected to the health care system, they don’t have insurance,” says Dr. Babcock.

Physicians stress it’s not too late for anyone to get a flu vaccine shot.

On Thursday, St. Louis County Health officials will announce plans for free flu shot clinics.

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