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Greene County Flu Cases Decline for Fourth Week in a Row

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported 54 cases from&nbsp;<st1:date year="2013" day="10" month="2">February 17-23, 2013</st1:date>. That's down from 63 the previous week and 81 the week before that.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The number of flu cases in Springfield and Greene County is down for the fourth week in a row.

On Tuesday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported 54 cases from February 17-23, 2013. That's down from 63 the previous week and 81 the week before that.

Last week, department spokesman Mike Brothers said while the trend is a good one, flu continues to be present in the community. However, Missouri has been downgraded to a "regional" classification of influenza activity.

Recent Reports:

CDC: Flu Still an Epidemic, But Fewer States Showing Activity

Flu Cases in Springfield, Greene County Reach 10-Year High

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has vaccine available for children ages 18 and under. However, the supply of doses for pregnant women and adults who are caretakers of children under 6 months of age is now limited.

Call the Westside Public Health Center at (417) 874-1220 to make an appointment or use walk-in hours between 7:30 and 10 a.m. each Tuesday. The clinic is at 660 S. Scenic Ave. Vaccine is provided at no cost to Greene County residents in the three above categories. There is a $15 fee for non-residents.

People who are covered by insurance or Medicare can go next door to the Smith Glynn Callaway Pharmacy, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Statewide Numbers

A few reminders about getting vaccinated:

-Everyone over the age of 6 months is recommended to be vaccinated
-Flu vaccine will protect against the three most common flu viruses circulating this year, including 2009 H1N1 virus. This year's formula is a good match against the most commonly circulating flu strains.
-Even if you got vaccinated last year, it is important to get vaccinated again this year to protect from changing flu viruses.
-Talk to your doctor about getting your influenza vaccine
-Flu vaccine is safe. Every year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration work closely with flu shot providers to ensure the highest level of safety standards for flu vaccines. Click here for more information about flu vaccine safety.
-More information about flu and about where to get vaccinated in Springfield and Greene Countycan be found here.

Steps to take to prevent flu including:

-Washing your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and then wash your hands with soap as soon as you are able.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This is how germs are spread.
-Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
-If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, without using fever-reducing medicine. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Call your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about illness.

Flu cases typically peak in February, according to the CDC.

More tips and info from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department

VIDEO: What to Know About the Flu in Greene County

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