OREGON COUNTY -- The flu is making itself felt around the country, including the Oregon County-Mammoth Spring area. As of last week the Oregon County Health Department had given approximately 1,000 flu shots this year, which is a 43-percent increase over the previous year.
At this time, the health department does not have any more flu vaccine but is trying to get some more from the state. Health Department Director Shiela Russell said she urges anyone interested in receiving the vaccine to contact the local health care provider if the health department does not receive more vaccine.
Valerie Reese, who serves the county as an epidemiology specialist, studies disease outbreaks in a nine-county area in southern Missouri. She said she could not say if the flu was more severe this year than in years past, but she was certain the flu seemed to peak earlier this year than before.
Of the nine counties Reese covers, she said six counties have had confirmed lab cases of the flu; the other three, including Oregon County, have not.
For more information regarding the flu vaccine contact Russell at the health department at 417-778-7450.