ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Many people across the St. Louis region are ringing in 2014 with the flu.
“We have about three times as much influenza cases than we would typically have at this time of year,” says Dr. Dave Warren, 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.
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.
But there is some good news.
Warren says the current flu vaccine being offered covers this latest strain, unlike previous years. “The virus that is circulating actually matches well with the vaccine,” he said.
Noting it is especially important for those most at risk from the flu to get vaccinated. That would be the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or those with heart and lung illnesses, likes asthma, diabetes or kidney problems.