The Independence Health Department has recently experienced five times the number of reported influenza cases compared to the same time frame in 2008.

The Independence Health Department has recently experienced five times the number of reported influenza cases compared to the same time frame in 2008.


At least three H1N1 suspected deaths have taken place in Independence since the strain of influenza became a concern in April, said Larry Jones, the health department director, in an update Monday night before the Independence City Council.


Priority groups for the H1N1 vaccine remain consistent, Jones said.


These groups include pregnant women; caregivers and households with children ages birth to 6 months; residents 6 months to 24 years old; health-care workers; and residents ages 24 to 64 with a chronic health condition.


To date in the entire city, 6,225 H1N1 vaccines have been administered, with the Independence Health Department contributing 2,887 of those vaccines, Jones said.


He said 5- to 18-year-olds and 25- to 49-year-olds represent the two highest age demographics to receive the vaccination in Independence at 30 and 34 percent, respectively.


The Independence Health Department will be sponsoring three additional clinics open to the public next week – from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Osage Trail Middle School, 2101 N. Twyman Road; from 4 to 7 p.m.  Dec. 3 at Pioneer Ridge Middle School, 1656 S. Speck Road; and from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at Nativity of Mary School, 10021 E. 36th Terrace.