SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As the holiday season is officially in full swing, more and more people will be out and about checking out events here in the Ozarks. Those partaking in the festivities should protect themselves from the abnormally high volume of flu cases in Springfield and Greene County.

According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, this past month was a record-breaker for flu cases.

During a briefing on Thursday, the department reported that it has seen 1,035 cases of the flu in Greene County so far this season.

As of Nov. 26, 876 cases were reported in the month of November alone, making it the worst November for influenza in the last twenty years.

The second highest was in 2009, which had only 230 cases reported.

Many experts are struggling to predict if the peak is over or if this is just the beginning.

“Flu season in the southern hemisphere started early and caused a higher number of cases than normal,” said Kendra Findley, the administrator of community health and epidemiology for the Springfield-Greene County Health Center. “We can use that data to anticipate when what we will see here. Unfortunately, flu is unpredictable.” 

The health department said the best method to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated.

If you’re uninsured, you can visit a health department outreach clinic to get your shot.