Mild Winter May Have Delayed Flu Season

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The flu season is starting to peak in the bi-state after a slow start. Area urgent care centers are starting to see patients with the tell tale symptoms but not all of them have the flu.

The nice weather has been keeping patients out of Downtown Urgent Care until now. Back in October doctors typically see the first cases of the flu. But this year the start of the season appears to be now and it could hit hard and fast. The flu isn't the only virus going around.

Missouri Health Officials reported 854 new flu cases last week and 156 in St. Louis County.

Those numbers are still lower than a typical year.

The mild flu season can be traced back to a number of reasons including the warm winter, many people were able to get outside and avoid the spread of disease in confined areas.

This year’s strain is the same as last year's and vaccinations mean people are not as susceptible.

The Center for Disease Control says this is the latest onset of the flu in nearly 30 years.

Missouri is leading the nation in outpatient visits for flu like illnesses.

Rest and fluids are what patients are being told.

Last year the flu killed 121 people, this year only 3 have died.

If the flu suddenly surges in the next couple weeks, officials say it will be short lived because the increasing warm weather will prevent the virus from thriving.