St. Louis County Health Department

Judy Schmidt, James Gathany, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In the past few weeks, the St. Louis region has seen a dramatic increase in the number of flu cases. The dangerous H1N1 strand that appeared in 2009 is back, and nine people have already died of the illness at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  

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Daniel Paquet | Flickr

Health officials are urging residents to get the flu vaccination after a steep rise in the number of severe cases reported in both Missouri and Illinois.

This year’s most prevalent flu strain so far is H1N1 Type A. That strain hit the United States hard in 2009 and disproportionately affected young and middle-aged adults.

That seems to be the trend again, according to Dr. Faisal Khan, the director of Communicable Disease Control Services in the St. Louis County Health Department.