Flu Cases in St. Louis County on increase
County Health Department Strongly Advises Everyone Be Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu
The Saint Louis County Department of Health is strongly advising that all residents be vaccinated against the seasonal flu. The number of flu cases in the St. Louis area has more than doubled over the last two weeks and vaccination is the best way to stop that trend.
“We have seen significantly more cases of seasonal flu over the last two weeks – especially among teenagers and young adults – and this concerns us because this is a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the department.
Added Dr. Gunn, “Getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting yourself – it’s also about protecting others. If you don’t catch the flu, then you can’t spread it to those who are more vulnerable like infants, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system.”
Residents needing a seasonal flu vaccine can visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s flu website to find out where they can go to be vaccinated:
Each flu season, between 15 and 60 million Americans are infected by seasonal flu each flu, depending on the severity of the outbreak. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized every year due to flu-related complications and around 36,000 of them die.
There is currently no shortage of flu vaccine or antiviral medication in the St. Louis area; however, the department will continue to monitor the availability of vaccine and antiviral medications in collaboration with health care providers.
Other standard precautions being urged by the county health department are:
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve – not into your hands.
- Wash your hands often, especially after using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing, or before preparing food.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible (this is how the flu virus spreads).
- Keep a supply of flu-related foods and medicines in your home to avoid having to shop after you get sick.
- Maintain a distance of three feet between you and others, especially if you think you are sick.
- If you or your child does get sick, stay at home until fully recovered.
- Talk to medical providers by phone to avoid in-person contact.
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