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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Flu cases continue to increase in Kansas City children as health experts warn that it may only get worse over the coming weeks.

Children’s Mercy Hospital said it tested nearly 1,500 children for flu last week. A third of those tests, or 511 patients, were positive for the flu virus.

The hospital said the number nearly doubled from what it treated two weeks ago, and skyrocketed from the 53 cases it diagnosed three weeks ago.

Because of the number of flu cases and RSV cases in the metro right now, Urgent Care and Emergency Departments warn there may still be longer-than-normal wait times.

The fear is that the number of people with the flu will continue to skyrocket.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Missouri and Kansas are experiencing low levels of flu activity, but that’s not the case just one state away.

The CDC’s data shows Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina are already seeing very high numbers when it comes to flu cases.

There is so much sickness in Tennessee that at least two school districts closed Monday in an effort to protect students who are not yet sick.

“Many of our colleagues are describing this as some of the most significant, you know, stressors that they’ve seen in quite a long time,” Dr. Jason Yaun, President of the Tennessee chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told WKRN.

Back in Kansas City, Children’s Mercy Hospital warns the flu is hitting the metro earlier than it normally does, and it’s important for everyone who is able, to get a flu shot.

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