PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT: Missouri health leaders report a spike in influenza cases

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 1:42 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 1:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The state of Missouri issued a Public Health Alert as flu cases increase across the state.

State health leaders report more than 6,000 cases this season. In the last season, the state reported only 1,795 flu cases, a quarter of what’s been reported so far this season.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports 670 cases through December. It reports 34% of the cases have been among the age group of 15-to-24-years-old.

Click HERE for Springfield-Greene County’s flu dashboard.

Kendra Findley with the Springfield Greene County Health Department says the county is on pace for a rough year.

“Last year we only had 70 cases of flu total here in Greene County,” said Findley. “We’re on track, as far as the number of cases, to see a season that is like 4,500 cases again.”

The Webster County Health Unit reports 20 overall flu cases. That compares to just six cases all of last season.

“If we don’t get a handle on this we are gonna be looking at another big spike and looking more at what would be a traditional flu season,” says Scott Allen, Administrator of the Webster County Health Department.

Allen also says the interest in flu vaccines has dropped compared to past years.

“The demand has been way down,” explains Allen. “We gear up for a big season early on in the season, and we still have a lot of flu vaccine left.”

Allen explains that adding flu cases onto the surge in COVID-19 cases they’ve been dealing with is stretching their resources thin already. So having more flu cases come in could make things even harder.

“The more flu cases we have, the more COVID cases we have, the more it takes away from being able to do things like trying to meet that increased demand for testing we’re seeing right now,” says Allen.

Both Webster and Springfield Greene County health departments recommend getting the flu vaccine.

You can find a list of flu vaccination sites in your area by following this link:

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