Flu Vaccine

More people in Franklin County have had the flu this year than ever before.

According to the most recent number from the county health department, 1,749 cases have been reported as of Friday and continue to climb by the day.

The highest week of reported cases thus far is 401, which also shatters the record week high last season of 269.

The new flu total shatters last year’s total of 1,672, which at the time was the worst flu season of all time.

Despite breaking the record, the number of cases reported last week, 190, dropped significantly from the week before when the number was above 300.

Since Monday, an additional 33 cases have been reported as well.

As per the trends all season, influenza type A is the dominant strain patients are being diagnosed with.

Thus far 1,518 of the cases have been the A strain and the additional 228 cases have been type B.

Hardest Hit

Even with the decline in overall cases last week, there were still increased numbers in all age groups.

None were larger than the 5 to 14 age group which showed a spike of more than 50 cases this week.

The hardest hit age group continues to be adults age 25 to 49 with 359 cases thus far.

• Ages 5 to 14 — 349 cases

• Ages 65 and older — 319 cases;

• Ages 50 to 64 — 277 cases;

• Ages 15 to 24 — 164 cases;

• Ages 2 to 4 — 177 cases; and

• Ages 0 to 2 — 104 cases.

To further slow the flu advance, the heath department is now offering flu shots for $10 and is taking walk-in patients. Additionally, its office will remain open until 6 p.m. on Thursday evenings.

Statewide

During the week of Jan. 14-20 a total of 8,260 influenza cases (5,983 influenza A, 2,193 influenza B, and 84 untyped) were reported.

A season-to-date total of 53,769 laboratory-positive influenza cases (42,965 influenza A, 10,306 influenza B, and 498 untyped) have been reported in Missouri.

The influenza type for reported season-to-date cases includes 80 percent influenza A, 19 percent influenza B, and 1 percent untyped.

Forty-nine influenza-associated deaths have been reported in Missouri as of last week.

Nationwide

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza activity increased again in this week’s FluView report.

All U.S. states but Hawaii continue to report widespread flu activity and the number of states experiencing “high” influenza activity increased from 26 to 32 states plus Puerto Rico.

Indicators used to track influenza-like illness activity are similar to what was seen during the peak of the 2014-2015 season, a season of high severity.

The overall hospitalization rate is high also, but still lower than the overall hospitalization rate reported during the same week of the 2014-2015 season.

The CDC also is reporting an additional 10 flu-related pediatric deaths, bringing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths reported this season to 30 so far. Flu activity is likely to continue for several more weeks.