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Flu Season 2012: Tough on Children

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – With influenza now on a downward trend across the St. Louis area, it might be a good time to see who was hit the hardest this flu season.

It looks as if children were the biggest flu victims this year. St. Louis County health officials report 44-percent — nearly half — of all flu cases were seen in children between the ages of 2 and 14. 17-percent were in 25 to 49 year old. 15 percent in those over 65.

Statewide, the same story — the youngest were hit the hardest in sheer numbers.

But compared to the past five years — this was a tough year on the elderly. According to state health officials — the five season median for flu cases in seniors is 326. This year, it was nearly 14-hundred — a 327-percent increase over the five year median.

And if you think this was a slower than usual flu season here, think again.

The flu season got off to a slow start and kind of trickled along till February and March. But once things got going, the numbers started to pile up. Statewide, there have been 18,600 cases reported. That is 11-percent higher than the five season average of 16,700.

In the eastern part of Missouri, including the St. Louis area, there have been 55-hundred cases, compared to the five year average of 46-hundred. That is nearly a 20-percent increase.

The central part of Missouri got it the hardest, with 38-hundred flu cases so far this year — more than double the five year average of 18-hundred cases.

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