Medical professionals seeing ‘concerning’ spike in local flu cases

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- January was the official start of "Flu Season" and over the last few weeks area hospitals and clinics have been treating a significant influx of adults and children suffering from the flu.

Doctors at Children's Mercy said they've seen children, by the hundreds, suffering from the illness. Dr. Mary Anne Jackson said it is an alarming trend because we are still weeks away from the typical peak of flu season.

"There have been eight children in the United States who have died from influenza this season so far. So, what do we see on average? We see about 100 kids who die." Dr. Jackson said, "With us being very early in the season and already seeing eight deaths, it's concerning. We haven't had any deaths here but we've certainly had patients admitted into our intensive care unit and we are real lucky here."

Doctors are advising parents to get their children, as well as themselves, vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Here are some recent numbers of flu cases:

Jackson County (Excluding KCMO and Independence)
923 reported cases from September 4, 2016 through January 29, 2017.

Clay County:
718 for the entire flu season. Health department said this is up very slightly for this time of year from numbers they've tracked since 2011

Johnson County (Are not required to report by the state of Kansas)
Voluntary reports as of January 27th - 525 cases.

Wyandotte County:
308 flu cases reported through February 1, 2017