Health officials report first winter flu case

Thursday, November 13, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri has its first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza this season, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Wednesday.

The case was suspected Oct. 27 when a private hospital laboratory test showed a St. Louis area adult had Type B influenza. It was confirmed at a state public health laboratory, and is being sent for further confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Missouri had 4,318 lab-confirmed cases of flu last winter. The first case was reported Dec. 31, and the last was reported April 18.

The health department considered the flu season moderate to severe.

About 82 percent of cases last season were in children age 19 or younger, said Libby Landrum, influenza coordinator for the health department.

The most effective way to prevent influenza is an annual flu shot, the health department said.

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