Missouri reporting almost 1,200 more cases of flu than this time last year

2016's Week 47 season-to-date flu cases total in Missouri was 379 while this year's is 1,545. That is almost 1,200 more cases. (MGN Online)

The state of Missouri is reporting more positive influenza cases than last year at this time.

During Week 47 of this year, 258 laboratory influenza cases were positive compared to 47 positive cases during Week 47 last year. 2016's Week 47 season-to-date total was 379 while this year's was 1,545, almost 1,200 more cases.

Scientists monitored southern hemisphere countries such as Australia to predict flu trends and develop a vaccination. The New England Journal of Medicine reported Australia's vaccination was only 10 percent effective. The United State's vaccination is the same as Australia's, but effectiveness of the vaccine cannot be determined until the flu season is over. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said it still recommends Missourians get a flu shot.

"Even if the flu vaccination is only 10 percent effective at preventing illness there are some additional benefits of the flu vaccine including reduced hospitalization rates and also the rate of deaths for those that are vaccinated," Rachael Hahn, with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said.

The state of Missouri reported one influenza death as of Week 47 in the 2017-2018 season. Hahn said the state will continue to monitor flu numbers weekly, but is not concerned by the numbers at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control said Missouri's flu activity is considered "minimal".

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