Optimism During Flu Season
"[For] the second week of January, it looks like we got the most that have been reported. We're seeing a few less the last two weeks. Not as high as some previous years, not as low as some previous years," said Sara Rainey, a regional epidemiologist for the Boone County Health Dept. "The past two years have had more cases later in the season than this year. This year's peak resembles the 2003-2004 season, only less severe. If the numbers do stay low, it's possible that the flu mist could have something to do with it."
"We've actually vaccinated about the same number of people that we've vaccinated in the past," said Public Health Manager Mary Martin. "We've done some more flu mist this year than we did the year before"
Dr. David Lee, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Immunology at the University of Missouri, said that the flu mist may actually the better choice over the flu shot.
"The flu mist is a better vaccine in terms of generating better immune responses, and so it's possible that could be the cause," he said. "It could just be a matter of that there's just, for some reason, less flu around this year."
Whether flu season has peaked or the worst is on its way, doctors say the safest policy is always to plan ahead and get a flu shot. The health department in Boone County has run out of flu mist, but you can still get a flu shot.