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Kansas reporting higher-than-normal flu cases

Published on -2/7/2013, 8:47 AM

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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.

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