KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Health officials say the flu season is on its way out.
In Wyandotte County they are still seeing a high number of flu cases, but it’s beginning to decline. And the number of people getting sick is a lot lower than it was back in December and January.
This flu season has been worse than previous years. Over the past four years, there have been a number of flu-related deaths. During this past flu season, from September to the present, there have been nearly 700 deaths -- more than in any of the previous three years.
Health officials say people who are battling other health ailments and have weaker immune systems are more prone to dying from the flu. They also say this season’s strain of flu has been very aggressive and hit a lot of people earlier than usual.
The flu usually peaks in February, but this year it peaked in December. Many people who received the flu vaccine still caught the flu because this season’s vaccine didn’t protect against this particular virus. Next season’s vaccine will, though – along with several other flu strains that are going around right now.
There are many strains of the flu, which is why health officials suggest you still get a flu shot if you haven’t already -- and keep washing your hands several times a day with warm water and soap. They don’t want this flu season to get any worse.
"It reminds us of H1N1 a little bit from a few years ago because of the spike we had early," said Joe Connor, UG Director of Public Health. "But then it’s definitely tapered off now, so the numbers are staying high, but it hasn’t stayed as high every week. It’s gone way down the last few weeks."
There have actually been no flu deaths this season in Wyandotte of Johnson County.
As far as Missouri goes, they’ve seen fewer flu deaths this season compared to last season, but again, the flu season is far from over, so health officials urge you to continue to use good hygiene and protect yourself.