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Missouri Flu Epidemic: 40,000 Cases Reported

Missouri Flu Epidemic: 40,000 Cases Reported

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By    |   Friday, 19 January 2018 11:11 AM

Missouri has been hit hard by the flu epidemic, with more than 40,000 cases already reported this year compared with 6,000 logged at the same time last year, CBS News noted.

St. Louis's Total Access Urgent Care clinic has seen about 1,000 flu patients a day, which is double the usual amount, and doctor Paul Hinrichs confirmed that he had "never seen such a high concentration of flu cases all at one time," CBS News reported.

Kinsa, a local company manufacturing "smart thermometers," has analyzed data collected from over a million users nationwide and concluded that Missouri had seen the highest flu rate across the country this year, The Kansas City Star reported.

According to the report, 5.2 percent of Missourians were sick last week, with Kansas totaling 5 percent and the national average reaching 3.7 percent.

Kerri Tesreau, the acting director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Division of Community and Public Health, noted that the rates were up from last year.

However, she added that it was "still not to the level that we saw in the 2014-15 flu season," although it was "beginning to look comparable to that," The Kansas City Star noted.

However, a spokesperson for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases had different views on the epidemic.

"It actually looks like the South and West Coast are seeing the highest activity," she told St. Louis magazine.

Despite the conflicting reports, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Randall Williams, did say that this year had seen more hospitalizations as a result of the flu.

"What we're seeing that makes a difference is this particular strain, (influenza A) H3N2, it appears to be more severe for children and seniors," Williams said per The Kansas City Star.

He offered one explanation as to why the rates were so high: "It's a contagion thing, so yeah, when people are congregated in confined areas whether it's work or school we're going to see more flu…Around Christmas people are more dispersed."

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A widespead flu epidemic is taking a toll in Missouri, where more than 40,000 cases of flu have been reported this year.
missouri, flu, epidemic
Friday, 19 January 2018 11:11 AM
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