Missouri’s death rate from flu and pneumonia cases is slightly higher than the national average. The Centers for Disease Control say about 36-thousand people die in this country every year from the flu and its complications such as pneumonia that sometimes go with it.

The state health department says Missouri seems to be having a typical season, but January and February are the biggest months for the flu here. Spokesman Brian Quinn says more than half of Missouri’s flu-related deaths are senior citizens, and Missouri’s higher-than-average population of senior citizens is a factor in the state’s flu death rate.

Quinn says Missouri usually has about eight percent of the nation’s flu-related deaths each year, a “sobering statistic” that he hopes encourages people, especially senior citizens, to seek out flu shots “and do all they can to protect themselves.”

He says Missouri already has several hundred flu-related deaths this winter. He says plenty of vaccine is available and there are plenty of places to get it. Quinn says it’s never too late to get one. But it takes several days to take effect.

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