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The Centers for Disease Control is reporting a sharp decline in new influenza cases around the country. And as KSMU’s Shane Franklin reports, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is experiencing the same trend.
There were 58 new cases of Influenza reported in the Ozarks between February 9th and the 15th. That’s down from 105 new cases the week before, a 45 percent drop, according to Kendra Findley, administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
“I would say just because of the numbers we have been seeing in the last several weeks, they continue to decline, I’m fairly comfortable in saying that we’ve reached a peak,” says Findley.
Since December, the department has confirmed 928 influenza cases. Findley says this season’s numbers are consistent with a normal flu season, which usually starts in November and peaks in late February or March.
Findley says diseases like influenza spread easily. She recommends staying home when you’re sick, washing your hands, and getting vaccinated.
“The next time you should really be thinking about that vaccine is next fall. I would always encourage people to try to get it in the month of November. That way your immunity will peak,” says Findley.
Once you have the vaccine it takes about two weeks for your body’s immune system to become fully protected against the flu.
The CDC still estimates a few more weeks of potential flu transmission.
For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.