Heartland states among highest flu rates nationwide - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland states among highest flu rates nationwide

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CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - According to health officials, flu season is here.

The number of flu cases are spiking with St. Louis coming in with one of the highest rates in the country.

Overall, numbers are still relatively low with 36 reported cases of flu in St. Louis since October 1.

But this time last year there were only five cases.

And experts say right now children 5-14 years old are most susceptible.

It's hard to tell this early on in the flu season just how bad things could get.

Around the holidays there's a lot of close contact from traveling and family visits.

Jeri Spence can attest to that first hand.

Her 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the flu after family came in from out of town for Thanksgiving.

"It was really scary when we found out because she's so little and I worried about her taking a lot of medicine and I worried about how fast she would heal from this and how long she would have it," said Jeri.

Jeri added her daughter is doing much better and no longer has a fever.

Her two other young girls didn't contract the virus.

But according to a weekly flu index by Walgreens, Missouri ranks in the top 10 for flu activity.

Our neighboring states in the Heartland, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee are among the highest number of cases as well.

Physicians urge you to get a flu shot, but not everyone chooses to get vaccinated.

Jeri's advice to other parents is just to take steps now to keep your kids as healthy as possible.

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