Flu Season Hits Kansas Hard

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas health officials say the state is being hit hard by the flu in the current flu season.

The state health department says Kansas recorded 699 deaths from September through Monday in which flu and/or pneumonia was a direct or contributing factor.

Department spokeswoman Miranda Steele says the rate of people being treated for influenza-like illness in Kansas is about 5 percent. She says that rate never reached 5 percent in the 2011-2012 and 2010-2011 flu seasons. The highest rate during those two seasons was 3.5 percent.

State epidemiologist Charles Hunt told The Topeka Capital-Journal that the flu usually peaks in February, but it was about a month ahead of time this year.

Hunt urges Kansans who haven’t done so to get a flu shot.