The holidays are here and so is an influx of influenza cases in Missouri. According to weekly data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, flu is widespread across the state. Overall Influenza-like illness activity has reached the high category.

From November 13-19, Missouri recorded about 4,900 confirmed cases, compared to roughly 2,700 the previous week.

The most cases are by far occurring among those 5-24 years old. The hardest hit region is northwest Missouri followed by the eastern part of the state.

Missourians should take some important safety measures to prevent the spread of germs.

• 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.

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