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Flu Season continues in Montana

Steps to prevent the flu
Posted at 12:40 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 14:40:09-05

According to the CDC, there have been 92 influenza related deaths in children this flu season across the country.

That's nearly three times as many as there were during week 6 of the flu season last year.

Pediatrician Jean Moore said despite the rise in numbers, the amount of cases aren't of epidemic proportions.

“As far as the numbers showing it’s out of control and the worst it’s ever been, that’s not true,” said Moore.

In the 2017-2018 flu season there were 84 pediatric deaths that had occurred by week 6 of flu season. We currently have 92 influenza related deaths as we are in the middle of the fourth month of this flu season.

Moore added that the concern with the flu stems from the hundreds of different strains there are. Only four of those strains are covered by the flu vaccine.

With each new year comes a new strain of the flu and a new vaccine to fight it.

Moore said that makes it harder for your body to know how to fight against the virus.

“New strains-that’s where the trouble’s gonna come...the newer that it is, the worse that it’s gonna be because people aren’t gonna have immunity against it,” Moore said.

With there being so many strains of the flu virus to consider, Moore says it's important to practice prevention methods seriously.

Moore recommends getting enough rest, eating right, cleaning surfaces you come into contact with, and washing your hands thoroughly with alcohol-based products.

She also advises parents to bring their young children in for an exam if they exhibit the following symptoms: runny nose and cough, fever, aches, chills, watery eyes, slightly conjunctive bloodshot eyes.

These symptoms can be used to determine whether children are candidates for Tamaflu, an antiviral drug used to treat the flu. But children should be brought in sooner than later, as Tamaflu is used during the first 48 hours of the flu's onset.