SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- This flu season is coming back full in full force. The Springfield Greene County Health Department says they already have about 20 flu cases reported from the first weeks of flu season.  

Flu season begins at the start of October and usually lasts through late march. 

During the height of COVID-19, there were fewer flu cases. During the 2020 through 2021 flu season, there were only 73 total cases. 

Last flu season, because of more relaxed health practices, such as no mask requirements and less social distancing, the Greene County health department reported more than twenty-seven hundred flu cases. 

“We are right in the midst of respiratory disease season. And so, what we would recommend to people is if you have not gotten vaccinated, it is not too late.” Said Kendra Findley, the Administrator of Communicable Diseases with the Springfield-Greene County health department.  

Health professionals say because of the results of more relaxed health practices, people can expect the flu to be around more this year.  

They also warn parents to be aware of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), a respiratory virus that is harmful to babies and younger children.  

“We saw a very early rise in what’s called respiratory and social virus or RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus),” said Doctor William Sistrunk, with Mercy hospital. “Pediatric groups are not only dealing with influenza and COVID but also RSV, all of which can have very similar symptoms.”