Weather sparks a rise in flu cases in the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Officials in northern Missouri say an 11-year old boy possibly died from the flu.

"That very cold weather seems to have brought everybody inside it's a perfect mode for the flu to spread from person to person," said Family nurse practitioner Anthony Inmon from the Family Medical Walk-in Clinic.

He says while the cold doesn't give you the flu it makes your immune system more susceptible to catching it. Inmon says the young, the elderly and especially those with respiratory issues such as asthma and COPD are more at risk for having pneumonia or other serious complications from the flu.

The flu is spread through contact with other sick people. The flu can also live on the surface of objects for up to two hours. After contact, it can take up to 48 hours to feel symptoms. And if you are feeling ill, doctors recommend you pay them a visit.

Inmon says the sooner you get on the medication, Tamiflu or Xofluza,
the more effective the medication is at helping you.

Doctors say the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot because you build up immunity to the flu virus itself. Immon recommends using bleach on what you can to disinfect areas, keep children home from school when they feel ill and to isolate those who are sick from the rest of the household.