Ste. Genevieve County, MO sees record amount of flu cases

STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KFVS) - The flu outbreak has reached residents in Ste. Genevieve County with record-breaking numbers. 

Recently, the county hit over the 100 mark for reported flu cases in just one week alone. 

"Looks like it's peaked at Christmas," Ste. Genevieve County Health Department Communicable Disease Nurse Mary Roth said. "We had 101 cases that week that we reported for the week of Christmas. It has stayed. It's been at 81 and this week at 90. I believed it peaked then and it's slowly going down."

Overall, since the season started on December 1, they have seen an astonishing 337 cases which include both strains of Influenza A and Influenza B. 

We talked with Roth who said it's a big flu year there. 

"Flu is widespread," Roth said. "Flu started early, Influenza A mainly. We've had 90-percent of the cases Influenza A, 10-percent Influenza B."

She said the flu is unpredictable and will probably level off in about a couple weeks but possibly pick back up in the springtime. 

"It's similar to 2014 that it started so early because it is an early start," Roth added. "It has over doubled 2014 so it is a very big year for flu. And this is just lab-confirmed cases."

Roth added that they have had a plethora amount of influenza-like illnesses in the county that hasn't been counted as part of the recorded number of cases. 

"Hospitals are very busy," Roth mentioned. "Most people don't have to be hospitalized when they have the flu but complications can set in especially in older people and very young infants can get very sick. Those are the two groups that we really watch."

She added that 80-percent of the people that have been tested positive with the flu have not been vaccinated for it. She wants to remind people that they have the flu vaccine at the county health department for free. 

"Flu vaccine is still your best protection against the flu. Even though it might not be a complete protection, it's your best protection, as well as, staying home while your sick, good thorough hand washing, sanitizing your work sure and your home site. Things like that," Roth said.

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