DPHHS advocates for influenza vaccine ahead of flu season - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

DPHHS advocates for influenza vaccine ahead of flu season

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HELENA - State health officials report that a dozen people have been hospitalized with the flu virus and more than 30 have been sickened since the start of the season.

The first cases of the flu were reported last month in Cascade County and the flu has since spread to counties primarily west of the Continental Divide, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The flu has resulted in two hospitalizations in Missoula County and one in Flathead County.

The state lab has seen instances of both the A and B strains of the flu and doctors say young children, pregnant women, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

Immunization Program Manager Bekki Wehner said anyone six-months-old and older should get vaccinated. It takes about two weeks for the influenza vaccine to be effective.

"People often say they never get sick from the flu or they don't get anything," Wehner said. "It's important to remember that getting vaccinated not only protects you but the people around you so it's important to remember that being vaccinated is also about protecting the people around you."

Click here to view the latest on flu cases in Montana.

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