Health department: Influenza activity increasing across Montana

Saul Bowman
December 24, 2017

"It can end up being an average flu season", says Maurer. "The highest number of flu-related hospitalizations has occurred among those who are older than 50 years of age, as well as children younger than 5, which are both groups at greater risk of experiencing severe illness and complications due to flu", the health department said in a statement on November 30.

Health officials say more than 30 people die in South Dakota every year on average from influenza. "Flu season typically does not peak until January or February".

Through mid-November, fewer than 2 percent of people reported flu-like illnesses at different surveillance sites across the state, according to Department of Health data.

North Carolina health officials believe more needs to be done to protect families from the flu. That's broken down into 16 cases of Influenza A and 8 cases of Influenza B.

North Carolina's influenza-like illness rate is at 4.9 percent. Each year, researchers around the world study the latest variations of this adaptable virus and come up with antibodies that best match the bug and protect people against infection. Since influenza virus can spread easily through coughing or sneezing, it is also important that family members and people in regular contact with high risk individuals get an influenza vaccine.

The holiday season brings people together.

He suggested people who are sick should do their relatives and friends a favor and stay home from holiday gatherings.

Flu-like symptoms include cough, fever, body aches, headache, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, chills and fatigue. Flu season usually lasts through early summer.

Lamont said over-capacity areas are already being used in some hospitals, and hospitals will continue to discharge patients as soon as they're safe to be discharged home to make extra space. But there's also been an above-average number of children being hospitalized for flu since November.

Vaccinations are especially recommended for anyone who is elderly, pregnant, or has a weakened immune system.

The best way to protect against the flu, nearly every health care provider will tell patients, is through the flu vaccine.

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