Health officials stress importance of flu shots

Heartland flu latest

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The flu season is in full swing and the Heartland is seeing their fair share of reported influenza cases.

According to the CDC, reported flu activity in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky is minimal to low. However, health officials say you shouldn’t take it seriously as it can easily spread.

Southern Seven Health Department Community Outreach Coordinator Shawnna Rhine said Illinois is about average compared to previous years.

Rhine encourages getting the flu shot, which helps protect against several influenza strains.

"Getting the flu shot is not only beneficial for you, but for others around you," Rhine said. "Especially if you live with an infant or someone who has a chronic condition such as asthma, heart disease, lung disease or they're 65 and older."

Rhine also wants to remind the public that you can also help prevent spreading germs with the three “C’s:” clean, cover and contain.

"Clean means to make sure that you're hands are clean, that you're children's hands are clean and that they aren't putting their hands in their mouth or their nose," Rhine said. "Cover, which means if you sneeze or cough, that you don't do it in your hands and make sure you do it in your sleeve. That keeps that from spreading out. Finally, contain, which means if you do seem to see symptoms of the flu to stay home and don't spread that to others."

For more information on where to get a flu shot or information about the flu, call your local health department.

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