Amid the holiday season comes another one: flu season. In Greene County, there were 88 cases of the illness as of Dec. 2, according to Kathryn Wall, public information administrator for the Springfield Greene County Health Department.
Wall said reports of the flu tend to increase around the holiday season when people do a lot traveling and tend to be within close quarters of others.
“That’s why we really push for flu vaccine in October to really get ahead of it,” Wall added.
SGCHD says the flu season begins when the first case is confirmed. This year’s season began Oct. 10, and typically lasts through March, but can extend as late as May.
According to Wall it’s hard for officials to tell if a flu season is “normal” or not because each year is different.
“I would say at this point for Springfield numbers this is about on par with what we would expect,” Wall said. “We haven’t seen anything that has set off alarm bells at the local level at this point.”
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet it’s not too late. Wall said places such as CVS and Walgreens have made it easy for people to get a flu shot without having to schedule an appointment. The health department’s website has information on where people can get vaccinated. You can also visit flu.gov and enter your zip code to find locations near you that offer the vaccine.
Wall said in addition to the vaccine practicing good hygiene can help people from spreading or getting the flu as well as staying home when you’re sick.
“That’s one thing we really have a hard time with,” Wall said. “If you’re sick stay home, stay away from others as much as you can and not pass on that illness to people important in your life.”
A list of statistics for this year’s and past flu seasons can be found through the health department’s website.