WICHITA, Kansas – Flu season is around the corner, and so far, Kansas has remained clear of the virus.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for surrounding states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, according to the CDC.
Sedgwick and Butler County Health Departments have seen an increase in people taking advantage of the flu vaccine, while Reno county numbers show around the same.
So far in, Sedgwick County 539 people have gotten vaccines the first week of the season. Last year, that number was only 219.
In Butler County, the number nearly doubled from 125 last year to 234 this year.
And in Reno County, an estimated 1,000 have been vaccinated since the 1st, just short of the 1,238 from last year’s start on Sept 23rd.
“I’m thinking that’s because there’s a whole lot more heightened awareness about the importance of being up to date on the vaccinations whether it occurred with the measles, and there’s just a lot in the news lately about viruses and diseases,” said Adrienne Byrne-Lutz with the Sedgwick County Health Department.
Officials say the flu does not have a direct impact for those at risk of enterovirus, neither does the vaccine.
According to the CDC’s website, the flu is far less lethal compared to current diseases like Ebola, but is easily transmissible because it is airborne and is spread through coughing sneezing and touch.
Calling the virus unpredictable, officials say it could be some time before the flu hits its peak. In the mean time they stress being prepared.
“Remember to get that vaccine because it is coming it may not be here yet but we’re just at the tip of the season and the vaccine is the best preventative along with washing hands,” said Adrienne.
Sedgwick County health officials say they are prepared to handle the flu, enterovirus, or Ebola if and when it occurs in our area.
There are free flu vaccines available at all county health departments for the uninsured.
Below is a map to the Sedgwick County Health Department