Missouri dodges the worst of the flu for now

Flu cases manageable in Missouri so far.

Missouri may have dodged the worst of the flu, at least for now.

The flu outbreak is so bad in Boston the city has declared a

state of emergency

. Seven hundred cases are reported, with 18 deaths. Last year they had only 70 reported cases at this time.

It's not too late to get a flu vaccination. While it's no guarantee you won't get sick, the vaccine seems to be well matched to this years strain of the flu. Still, doctors say those who get the vaccine and then become sick usually suffer fewer complications.

The weekly

map of flu cases

by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Missouri with regional activity, one step down from the worst, "widespread" cases.

The Missouri Department of Health also puts out various maps and tables to interpret the numbers.

They show flu cases peaking earlier than in years past (Graph 1), but not being reported in higher numbers. As for people going to the doctor with influenza-like illness, for the first week of 2013, one person was reported from Boone County, 29 in Callaway and 90 in Cole County (Table 8).

Late Wednesday, the Boone County Health Department announced it was out of the FluMist nasal spray vaccine but still has the shot. The Boone County Health Department also offers FluMist or the shot free for people ages 18 and younger.