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Missouri looks to Australia to determine flu vaccination formula

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Missouri looks to countries such as Australia to determine what to include in the flu vaccination. (MGN Online)

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the department looks to countries such as Australia in the southern hemisphere to see what flu season may bring.

DHSS track the flu season of countries like Australia to predict what flu season may bring in North American months later. This helps scientists determine what to include in the flu vaccination in Missouri.

However, vaccination target groups are different in Missouri than in Australia according to DHSS.

"In Australia they use a different strategy than what CDC uses here. In Australia they look strictly at at risk populations. Here in the United States, the message is that anyone over six months old should get a flu vaccination," Ken Palermo with DHSS said.

During the 2-16-2017 flu season, the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory reported more than 71,000 influenza cases.

Palermo said the number of positive influenza cases per season in Missouri has fluctuated between 20,000 and 70,000 cases over the last four years.

DHSS recommended vaccinations and hygiene to prevent contracting the flu.

"To prevent the flu, number one get the vaccine. Second, wash your hands and avoid sick people. If you yourself become sick, then stay away from others," Palermo said.

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