Influenza is spreading like a wildfire on a hot summer day in Missouri as it covers 47 states in the United States with the dominate level in Influenza B.
This week the Independent News spoke with Tony Buel, Franklin County Health Department Epademology Specialist, Jennifer Zimmermann, Missouri Baptist Hospital-Sullivan-Infection Prevention Specialist, and Dr. Tom Allen, Sullivan School Superintendent.
According to Tony Buel, F.C.H.D., as of Monday, Jan. 7, Franklin County had 400 cases of Influenza with nearly all being Influenza B. In the Sullivan 63080 zip code in Franklin County of the 400, 83 cases were in Sullivan.
Buel stated the first case of Influenza this year was filed on Sept. 2, and by the first week of Dec. more cases began to be reported.
“Some years we see Influenza start early and sometimes we see it get a late start such as 2011,” said Buel. “Our biggest reports so far this season came during Dec. 23-30.”
Buel stated that it is not to late to still get your Flu Vacination and that there is still a supply at the Franklin County Health Department, 15 South Oak St., Union.
Buel reminds everyone that hand washing and the use of products like Germx can help control the spread of the flu.
“The Centers For Disease Control suspect that we will see the peak of this flu season in the next two weeks or first part of Febrary,” said Buel.
Buel also stated that like St. Louis County, Franklin County is seeing a lot of the Flu cases in children ages 5-14.
Jennifer Zimmermann, MoBapt, Sullivan Infection Prevention Specialist stated that the hospital Emergency Room has had 6 confirmed cases of Influenza with those residents living in Franklin County-3; Crawford County-2 and St. Louis County-1.
During the week of December 30, Zimmermann reported that the Emergency Room saw 40 confirmed cases of influenza with the following and their flu type; Franklin County-20 type B, 3 Type A; Crawford County-12-Type B and 1-Type A; Phelps County-2-Type B; Gasconade County-1-Type A and St. Louis County, 1-Type A.
Dr. Thomas Allen, Sullivan School Superintendent reported to the Independent News Friday the influenza at the Sullivan campuses had not affected the school district this past week at all with attendance at or above normal. Allen stated that the numbers were down just before Christmas break but appeared very good this past week, despite the nationwide epidemic.