According to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, hundreds more people have contracted influenza so far this year compared to last year’s deadly season.
Weekly reports, which you can find here, show that, in the first few weeks of the 2017-2018 season, there were 357 influenza cases in Missouri. In the same amount of time into the 2018-2019 season, there have been 642 cases, a 56% increase.
The number of people diagnosed with some type of influenza has been increasing in recent years.
In the 2017-2018 season, there were 133,957 influenza-positive cases in Missouri. That’s up from 71,469 cases during the 2016-2017 season, and 20,101 during the 2015-2016 season.
“The only thing predictable about flu season is its unpredictability,” said Jaime Young, a registered nurse and the communicable disease coordinator at the Cole County Health Department.
Every year, the influenza virus changes, and the vaccine is required to adapt.