A weekly state health department report shows more than 5,000 flu cases have been confirmed during the week of January 19, compared to about 2,000 the previous week. The latest figure represents an increase of 2.5 times the number of cases from the previous week’s total.
More than 27,000 Missourians have come down with influenza so far this season.
The state data says the flu has killed 16 people. Another 558 people have died as a result of getting the flu and then pneumonia.
Northwest and southeast Missouri have the highest rate of flu cases.
Safeguards health officials recommend include:
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after touching shared objects or surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, remote controls, shopping counters, debit card readers, etc. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
• Stay home while you’re sick and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.