It’s here. And we don’t have a vaccine for it yet. The state health department considers any flu at this time of year as swine flu. It’s too early for the regular flu.
Emerging Infections Coordinator Eddie Hedrick says the flu has been smoldering through the summer waiting for people to get back together in schools so it can spread more readily.
He says the vaccine won’t be arriving in Missouri for another six weeks or so and the first 45 million doses will be used on people with highest risk of getting infection and the highest risk of complications. That means people in schools, pregnant women, and people with underlying conditions . He says about 20-million doses will be released weekly after the first amount is released.
Hedrick says there’s no sign this stuff is getting out of hand. He’s been watching the virus in the southern hemisphere, where the flu season is ending. Based on what has happened there, he says, "We’re anticipating about double what we normally see," he says.
The standard advice is offered to keep from getting it or spreading it. Wash hands, smother sneezes…If you’re feeling badly, stay at home, drink liquids. Unless there are complications, you should be better in three or four days