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Number of Flu Cases Reported May Be Misleading

 Since flu season began in the fall, Greene County has only had 14 confirmed cases of the virus. KSMU’s Melanie Foehrweiser reports.

Mike Brothers, a spokesman for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says those low numbers don’t mean anything for the upcoming months. The peak of flu season is generally from January until March. Brothers also says not to be fooled into thinking the weather directly influences an increase or decrease in cases.

“The flu is a virus and although it happens in the winter time, the reason for that really is not to do with the weather or the cold air.  It’s because we spend more time indoors, because kids are in school, and we’re just around people more often and that’s how a virus spreads and how it thrives.”

Two potential reasons for low numbers of flu reports could be lack of health insurance or people just feeling like they’re better off staying home.  

“Not every case of the flu might get reported every year anyway. A lot of folks tend to ride that out whether they can go to a doctor or not, some just don’t want to.”

Brothers also wants to remind people that even if they can’t afford to go to a doctor, flu shots are still within most people’s budgets. For more information on flu shots or to schedule an appointment call Westside Public Health Center at 874-1220.  

 For KSMU News, I’m Melanie Foehrweiser