Flu Spreading In Montana - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Flu Spreading In Montana

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BOZEMAN -

Montana reports its first flu fatality of the season.

State health officials say a Hill County resident has died of complications from the flu.

Hill county boarders Canada, but health officials are warning the flu is spreading quickly across the state.

As of December 28, Montana had 860 confirmed cases of the flu, 185 of those in Gallatin County.

Only Yellowstone County had more, with 204 cases reported.

Gallatin County Health Department Director Matt Kelly said it's not uncommon for these areas to have more cases of the flu.

"That's not unexpected," said Kelly. "We have a larger population. We tend to have a lot of people coming in and visiting and that tends to bring in disease transmission."

The Department Of Public Health And Human Services said 101 people have been hospitalized in Montana for flu like symptoms, with more than half of those cases coming in the past two weeks.

But even with these higher numbers, Kelly said it is still early in the season.

"It's too early to say if this is a severe season, a moderate season or a light season," said Kelly.

Kelly said these numbers could actually be higher because most flu cases aren't reported because people don't go see their doctor when they get the flu.

He adds the best way to fight the flu is getting the flu vaccine and washing your hands regularly.

Check with your local health department for vaccination information.

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