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Missouri’s upcoming flu season could be a rough one

The flu season is expected to be especially bad this year. Dr. Randall Williams, the Director of Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services is highly encouraging you get your flu shot by the end of the month.

“My sense is, again knowing that we never can predict accurately, but that we think it’s going to be an early flu season and it will be more like two years ago than last year.”

Doctor Williams does not know if the type A strain will necessarily be the case this time around, like it was two years ago.

“There’s just one that finds a niche and you can never really predict that because it might be the same strain but for that particular reason, for whatever year, it just becomes more infectious.”

Williams says the level of flu cases is somewhat dependent on the strain, and the unique situations of that year.

“For instance, if the weather is warm and more people are outside, then that would tend to decrease the amount of people coming into contact with each other,” Williams says. “But if we have a very cold winter and people are very much coming together, then that’s going to potentiate any type of infectious epidemic.”

In 2017, nearly 134,000 people got the flu in Missouri and 279 of those people died. Last year, 77,000 flu cases were reported in the state with 92 flu-related deaths.

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