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Health officials: Get flu shots if you haven't already done so

KVOE's latest update on flu numbers earlier this week showed an increase of flu activity at Newman Regional Health and a number of combination flu-pneumonia cases. Both trends are being noted statewide.

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says flu activity is high across the state, and health officials are encouraging everybody ages six months and up to get a flu shot if they haven't already done so.

KDHE says there have been three deaths directly tied to flu -- and over 500 deaths at least indirectly related to flu and pneumonia -- since the flu season began in September.

Health officials are also worried about the presence of H1N1 as the dominant flu strain this season. H1N1 caused the 2009 flu pandemic and hits children and young adults especially hard. The state does not test specifically for H1N1, but the current vaccine offers some protection against the virus.

Newman Regional Health is reporting over 60 cases of flu since December, while Flint Hills Community Health Center-Lyon County Health Department had around 20 cases at last word. Limited vaccination numbers are available through Newman Regional Health's clinics, while the Health Center-Health Department ran out of flu shots around Christmas.

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