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Montana reports first flu-related death

Flu Shot
Posted at 11:38 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 13:42:08-05

HELENA — State health officials are reporting the first flu-related death in the Montana for the 2019-2020 flu season.

The death occurred in an adult over the age of 65, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

Officials did not say which county the death occurred.

Montana has seen more than 1,600 cases of the flu with 102 people hospitalized by the illness so far this flu season, according to the DPHHS.

Additionally, at least one case of the flu has been reported in all but three counties.

The elderly and young children are the most susceptible to the virus.

More information about the flu can be found on the DPHHS website, including the following:

Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious complications from the flu:

  • Asthma
  • Neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • People who are obese with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
  • People younger than 19 years of age on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
  • People with a weakened immune system due to disease (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or some cancers such as leukemia) or medications (such as those receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or persons with chronic conditions requiring chronic corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system)

Other people at high risk from the flu:

  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Children younger than 2 years old1
  • Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

1 Although all children younger than 5 years old are considered at high risk for serious flu complications, the highest risk is for those younger than 2 years old, with the highest hospitalization and death rates among infants younger than 6 months old.