KALISPELL — The Flathead City-County Health Department (FCCHD) is reporting that two influenza deaths have been reported in residents over the age of 65.
FCCHD is urging residents who are six months or older to get vaccinated against the flu.
“Influenza can be a serious illness that leads to complications and death in some cases,” said FCCHD Health Officer Joe Russell. “We recommend that all eligible individuals receive a flu vaccination to protect themselves and their families.”
According to FCCHD, it takes up to two weeks after receiving a vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.
The flu vaccine is available by appointment at the Flathead City-County Health Department by calling 406-751-8110.
Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza, including:
- People 65 years and older
- Children younger than 5, but especially younger than 2
- People with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma and COPD, diabetes (both type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurological conditions, and those with weakened immune systems
- Pregnant women
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) reports that influenza activity increased across the state between Feb. 13 and Feb. 19 with 290 new cases reported. As of Feb. 19, a total of 3,536 cases, 98 hospitalizations, and one death associated with influenza had been reported.