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St. Louis Area Seeing Spike in Influenza Cases

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EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images

EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Local doctors say the St. Louis area is seeing a large spike in flu cases.

“We are seeing some severe cases of influenza as well at local hospitals and this is being reported across the country,” says Dr. Hillary Babcock, an infectious diseases specialist at the Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

New flu cases doubled over the past week in St. Louis County, jumping from 73 to 158 this week for a total of 371 this season.

“The flu season is different every year and we’ve been actually fairly lucky, the last few years have not been too bad,” Babcock explained. “This is looking more like one of the older flu seasons, one of the more severe seasons with more cases and more severe disease.”

Across Missouri, there were 744 new cases last week, bringing the season total to 2,100. That is a 300 percent increase from the five season median.

“There is still time to get vaccinated. It does look like the circulating strain is a good match vaccine and getting vaccinated is the best protection that we have,” Babcock added.

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