Lincoln County has currently seen 137 confirmed cases of the flu. Since the beginning of December, flu rates in Lincoln County have increased by 188 percent, according to the Lincoln County Health Department
Flu season begins in October and ends in May. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu rates are now widespread across 35 states, with high rates reported in 20 states including Missouri. The CDC reports there was a decrease in flu rates last week (reporting period ending January 4, 2014) possibly caused by care-seeking, testing and reporting differences during the holidays, but is most likely not an actual decline in flu. To view Missouri’s most recent rate per county click here: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/influenza/m11060D.html
The CDC also reports, the most prevalent flu strain this season is H1N1, which was seen in 2009. This is of importance because young adults and children are more likely to get sick with this strain.
Of the 137 confirmed flu cases in Lincoln County, only two percent verified they received a flu shot. Symptoms for flu can include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu.
Flu shots are recommended annually for everyone six months or older. The flu shot is available at the Lincoln County Health Department (636-528-6117) by appointment or during walk-in flu clinics every Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Flu shots are free for qualifying children ages six months to 18 years of age at the health department. Otherwise, the is a cost for a flu shot. It is also important to prevent the spread of the flu by proper hand washing techniques. Regular hand washing throughout the day and before you eat is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and preventing germs to be spread to others.
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