Missouri Weathers Fierce Flu Season

Jan 30, 2018

This image illustrates the very beginning stages of an influenza (flu) infection. Most experts think that influenza viruses spread mainly through small droplets containing influenza virus. These droplets are expelled into the air when people infected with the flu cough, sneeze or talk.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) / CDC

Missouri has seen a major increase in flu cases this flu season. The season, which usually runs from October to May, has produced 53,769 cases of influenza in Missouri as of Jan. 20. And with the variety of strains and degrees, it’s often tough to predict the season’s end. 

“We have seen an increase in the number of flu cases in the early part of the season,” Eric Stann, community relations specialist for Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services said. “We have also recently seen a decrease in flu cases in comparison to recent weeks, but that does not mean that the flu season is over yet.” 

   

The rise in Missouri’s flu cases has coincided with a national trend: 49 of 50 states, Hawaii being the exception, have reported widespread influenza activity.

Mizzou Urgent Care medical director Tara Flynn said that a large factor was the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine against the strain that appeared, but also pointed at the culture of showing up to work no matter the case. “I think we have a society that’s very pressured to go to work and prove that they’re sick,” Flynn said. “We really want to think about people staying home.”