If you have had the flu lately, you're not alone.
The Department of Health and Senior Services recently reported the state saw 9,842 cases in the final week of 2012. Compared to the same time in 2011, only 378 cases were reported. Other states also are seeing an uptick in reported cases.
Vanessa Landers, communicable-disease coordinator at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, told the Southeast Missourian recently the number of cases reported locally since October is up slightly -- 250 -- but the number is not unreasonable.
Landers offered a few simple ways to help fight off the flu.
"People should wash their hands often," she said. "They should dress for the cold temperatures. If they do get sick with flu, they should stay at home and not spread it. And people should also get vaccinated; it's the smart thing to do."
As of Wednesday morning, a limited supply of flu vaccines was available at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. Vaccines are $20 unless you have Medicare or Medicaid. Other private outlets, like some pharmacies, have flu vaccines.
We encourage you to consider what steps you can take to stay healthy during this flu season. Following these suggestions is a good start.