Cold and flu season has yet to peak, according to medical experts, but Kansas City is already feeling sick and tired.
Earlier this month, the Kansas City Health Department reported 570 cases of the flu and said the winter season was on pace to be “very bad.”
This week, WebMD ranked Kansas City No. 5 on its cold and flu map, indicating that the risk of getting a cold or flu in both Kansas and Missouri is severe.
“This year’s flu is primarily of the H3N2 strain, and years with H3N2 tend to be particularly deadly, especially for the very young and elderly,” the health website announced in a statement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 children in the U.S. have died this year from complications from the flu.
The WebMD Cold/Flu Map uses data from the website’s “symptom checker,” in which as many as 4 million people a month report their own symptoms.
Those experiencing a cold typically report runny noses, sneezing, coughing and sore throats. While these symptoms also sometimes accompany the flu, most often the flu is characterized by fever, body aches, sweats and chills and a dry cough.
WebMD experts say the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. But the organization offers other tips for avoiding sickness this winter.
▪ Wash your hands often.
▪ Sanitize surfaces.
▪ Steer clear of sick people when you can.
▪ Pamper your immune system by eating healthy, exercising and limiting alcohol.
▪ Don’t share food, toys, blankets, pillows or drinks.
There are roughly eight weeks left in the flu season.