By Monte Miller
Missourian Staff Writer
Reported flu cases are rising faster and sooner than this time last season.
As of Friday, flu cases in Franklin County surpassed the 1,210 mark.
Reported cases the same week in 2017 were only 250.
The 2016-2017 flu season broke records in Franklin County with 1,664 cases.
Already this season, numbers are only 456 behind that entire total with at least three months still to go.
County Public Health Supervisor Tony Buel says the flu epidemic didn’t strike last year until the end of January, and the surge so early this season could again mean record-breaking numbers.
“We didn’t see the big push until the week of Jan. 29 last season,” Buel said. “Two weeks ago we had 389 cases and just last week we had another 325 cases.”
Influenza A is still the top culprit with 1,054 cases reported. Type B cases are creeping up at 157 thus far.
According to numbers from the health department, the big upswing in cases began the week of Christmas when they jumped by more than 100 cases to 251 total.
The last week of 2017, the increase was another 138, up to 389.
Last week, the total cases for the week dropped slightly to 325.
In a slight shift from last week, adults ages 24 to 49 now make up just under 20 percent of flu cases reported in Franklin County with 240, increasing by 56 last week.
Children ages 5 to 14 make up 19 percent of total cases with 229, which is an increase of 44 from last week.
Adults 65 and older are a close third, making up an additional 19 percent with 229 total cases. That number is 54 higher than last week.
Adults ages 50 to 64 reported 208 cases, making up 17 percent of the totals, increasing by 61.
Children and young adults ages 15 to 24 reported 118 cases followed closely by children ages 2 to 5 with 115 cases.
There also were 72 cases reported in children ages 2 and under.