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Free Flu Shots Being Offered to St. Louis County Residents

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(Photo credit: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - To combat a significant increase in severe cases of influenza being reported recently in both Missouri and Illinois, the St. Louis County Health Department has decided to offer free flu shots next week.

Residents six months-of-age and older can attend one of the three clinics below to get a free shot.

North Central Community Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn (63121)
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
Noon to 4:00 p.m.

John C. Murphy Health Center
6121 North hanley Road in Berkeley (63134)
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Noon to 4:00 p.m.

South County Health Center
4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills (63127)
Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Noon to 4:00 p.m.

Local hospitals are reporting an unusually severe case of flu, especially among young and middle aged adults with many requiring hospitalization and some resulting in death.

“Getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting yourself. It’s also about protecting others. If you don’t catch the flu, then you won’t spread the flu,” said Dr. Dolares J. Gunn, director of the St. Louis County Department of Health.

230 new influenza cases were reported this past week in St. Louis County, bringing the total to 849 cases for the season, according to the St. Louis County Health Department.

Statewide, 4,080 total flu cases have been reported. That is about 415 percent higher than the five year average at this time. Deaths in Missouri attributed to the flu and pneumonia total 820.

Illinois has also reported significant widespread flu throughout the state. 122 people have been admitted to intensive care units at Illinois hospitals. Seven of those people died, and six of those deaths occurred in suburban Cook County.

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