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Flu cases increase in St. Louis County

By Catherine Wolf, KWMU

St. Louis – The St. Louis County Health Department is reporting an increase in flu cases. The Department recorded 85 cases for the week ending February 8. That was up from 66 the week before, and 15 in mid-January.

Department spokesman Craig LeFebvre says an increase usually occurs at least once during the yearly flu cycle. He says it's not too late to get a flu shot.

"The flu shot is particularly effective this year as opposed to some previous years, and so the combination of those two realities, the effectiveness of the flu shot and the ineffectiveness of Tamiflu, is a reason to get the flu shot."

LeFebvre says in addition to getting a flu shot residents can take other measures to prevent contracting the flu.

"Keep a distance of three feet between you and other people. If you sneeze or cough always cover your mouth. Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose, and if you do become sick please don't hesitate to stay home."

LeFebvre says the flu often spreads when infected people go to work. He says this year's flu has most affected people between the ages of 5 and 49.

The St. Louis County Health Department has recorded 224 flu cases this season. Flu season is expected to run through April.