The flu bug no longer is flying under the radar.
Confirmed cases of the seasonal virus have been sporadic thus far, but health officials warn the flu reaches its zenith in January and February.
Cole County Health Department Director Maria Peoples on Monday reported six confirmed cases of influenza.
Area health care providers and the public schools also reported flu cases have not posed a major problem, particularly in comparison to past years.
But all tempered any early optimism with the caveat that peak flu season is just beginning.
Peoples said complaints of flulike symptoms are increasing. Those symptoms include wracking cough, fever, chills, sore throat, aching muscles, weakness and fatigue.
Dr. Daniel Gibson of Capital Region Medical Center's Health Branch West said the ailment may appear similar to strep throat. He added, contrary to popular belief, the flu has nothing to do with vomiting.
Readers who have managed to avoid the flu and would like to perpetuate prevention are advised to:
• Avoid sick people.
• Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer, including those made available at grocery stores and other businesses. The flu virus adheres to and can be transferred from surfaces.
• Get a flu shot.
We encourage Central Missourians to continue proactive steps to ward off the misery associated with prime flu season.