The number of influenza cases in Sainte Genevieve County has reached a record high. The county’s health department reported 101 lab-confirmed flu cases over the week of Christmas, 79 the following week, and 90 so far this week. Nearly 340 total cases have been reported for 2018, twice as many than were reported this time last year, and 90% have been confirmed Type A Influenza.
Communicable disease nurse for the Sainte Genevieve County Health Department, Mary Roth says one reason for the spike may be due to the flu vaccine not covering H3-N2, a certain strain of Influenza A, very well this year.
“There have not, before this time, been a lot of people exposed to that,” says Roth. “So in that way probably there are more people getting it.”
But Roth says with their data, the flu vaccine still seems to be beneficial, as 80% of the confirmed cases did not receive the shot. She says although the flu is unpredictable, the best first line of defense is the vaccine.
“There is always a possibility that there could be a bout of the Influenza B in the springtime,” says Roth.
The health department has distributed as many vaccines this flu season as they have in years past. They always stress to stay home if you are sick and to wash your hands and surfaces frequently. Roth is hoping the spike in cases has plateaued, and will soon be on a slow decline.