GREAT FALLS- 28 children nationwide have died from the flu, in this flu season alone according to the CDC, but as it turns out, Benefis tells us this isn't as record-breaking of a number as it may seem.
About 2 million people get the flu every year. Out of that about 80,000 dies. Although it seems alarming that 28 children have already died from the flu Benefis says it's not that high of a number considering those kids who've died from the flu usually already have weaker immune systems due to battling other diseases.
So far in 2019, Benefis has seen about 200 positive flu cases and 30 hospitalizations related to the flu in Cascade County.
"It seems to be a little bit of high flu year especially in kids, we've noticed that in Cascade County. We've actually had a lower case of hospitalizations with the flu in Cascade County this year,” said April Woods-Tatarka a Benefis Manager for Quality and Patient Safety.
Nationally, this year's flu season isn't anything out of the ordinary either but, you still need to take precaution. Wash your hands, stay home if sick, and make sure you're wearing a mask if contagious.
"The very best way to prevent it is to get a flu shot,” said Woods-Tatarka.
And while Montana is fighting the flu, there is another illness you should know about.
The measles, at least 10 states across the nation have reported cases of so far in 2019 with large outbreaks in both Washington and New York.
"There is a high probability that it could come to Montana especially since we're so close to Washington,” said Woods-Tatarka.
To avoid catching the measles, make sure you're vaccinated and if you think you have it call your doctor ahead of time so you can identify symptoms before scheduling an appointment.
"It's never too late to be vaccinated. When you're an adult you can get a blood test to see if you're immune to it or not,” said Woods-Tatarka.
However, Benefis says you've probably already received this vaccine since it's required by public schools. If you're unsure, you can always give your doctor a call.