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 Sept. 1 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 (http://bit.ly/Xnk0tA ) 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.