Montana officials report increase in influenza cases

Friday, 22 Dec, 2017

About 15 percent of students were out sick at Northpoint Elementary, she said, also above the norm (10 percent or less). Last week, a 98-year-old died after contracting the illness.

Flu season lasts from October through May.

"It could be that we're going into one of our worst seasons", he said. "It is not too late to get a flu shot".

The week ending November 25 saw 204 flu and flu-like cases reported in the county.

On a national scale, this season is on track to be one of the worst in years, and Dallas looks like it might be following suit, Thompson said. Twelve of 17 regions had confirmed flu cases.

There were two recent flu-related deaths in McLean County, said Coroner Kathy Davis.

As of this time last season, there were four deaths in the county.

The more people who get it, he said, the less likely there will be a serious flu problem in the country.

Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

The flu season has started early. "Flu season typically does not peak until January or February". It won't make the flu go away completely, but it could make it go away faster.

"The flu is a potentially fatal virus that can spread even before symptoms arise, so it is important to observe these restrictions and protect patients", said Gail Stanley, M.D., an infectious disease physician at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots annually for everyone at least 6 months old.

Department for Public Health (DPH) officials say "widespread activity" is the highest level possible. No appointments are necessary.