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08:32 AM

Kansas Reflector: Number of Kansas flu and COVID-19 cases expected to rise during holiday season

By Rachel Mipro

Health officials urge Kansans to get booster shots before the holidays, warning of a “trifecta” of illnesses spreading this year, including flu, respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and COVID-19, and a limited number of hospital beds available to treat these illnesses.

Only 10.2% of Kansans have received a bivalent booster shot, according to data provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The number of Kansans who completed a vaccination series is sitting at 57.2%.

None of the counties in Kansas has a vaccination rate of more than 70%. Johnson County has the highest vaccination rate, at 68.6%, and the lowest is in Doniphan County, which is at 33.3% vaccination, according to KDHE data.

Both COVID-19 and the flu can cause fatigue, fevers, coughs and shortness of breath. People most vulnerable to flu complications are young children, people with pre-existing health conditions, pregnant people and those older than 65.

“We are seeing a lot of sick kids each day — the respiratory illness season started earlier than usual and is hitting our region hard,” said Jennifer Watts, chief emergency management medical officer with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, in a Dec. 9 news release. “Like many pediatric hospitals, Children’s Mercy has been at or near capacity and we have not yet reached the peak of flu cases this winter.”


Read the full article via Kansas Reflector

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