Flu cases spiking in St. Louis area

(KTVI) – The St. Louis County Health Department says it’s not a record flu season, but the number of cases is spiking sooner than usual.

St. Anthony’s Medical Center in south St. Louis County reports 111 cases of the influenza in just the past 10 days.  That’s a 72% jump compared to the number of previous cases.

“We hope it’s over in two to three,” explains Zachary Tebb, M.D. and medical director of emergency medicine at St. Anthony’s.  He added there is no way of knowing how long the flu bug will stick around.

Of the recent cases at St. Anthony’s, most are patients in their 30s.  Dr. Tebb said the most serious cases involve patients with pre-existing conditions, “Folks who have heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, unfortunately are getting sicker now that we have higher rates of flu.”

Tebb encourages anyone sick with the flu to stay home to avoid spreading it.  He also encourages anyone with pre-existing health problems to be extra vigilant in washing their hands and staying away from anyone who is sick.

There are still flu shots available throughout the St. Louis area.   For more information visit: www.stlouisco.com/Healthandwellness.

Find out more about norovirus: http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/

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