The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services says that so far during this flu season, more than 500 cases, 100 hospitalizations, and seven deaths have been reported in the state.
Cascade County accounts for more than 60 of the reported cases, according to the Cascade City-County Health Department.
DPHHS reports a sharp increase in the number of cases being seen and several influenza outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
Influenza is a potentially life-threatening respiratory illness with symptoms that may include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. The flu virus is contagious and spreads from person to person through droplets when sneezing or coughing. It can also spread when a person touches an object that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes.
Officials with the Cascade City-County Health Department say the best defense against the flu is to get the flu shot. Even if the vaccine does not completely prevent the flu, it can still help prevent the intensity and duration of the illness.
Public Health nurses are available to assist people on a walk-in basis during clinic hours; no appointment necessary. In addition, there is no cost with most insurance and all forms of payment are accepted.
CCHD Immunization Clinic Hours:
CCHD says that other healthy habits can protect you and your family from getting sick. “Oftentimes, illnesses can be prevented with a few simple prevention habits.” says Trixie Smith, Prevention Services Division Manager. “These habits include frequent hand washing, covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you are sick.” These simple prevention habits can keep you and your family healthy during the winter, and all year long.
CCHD has received some questions from the public regarding booster shots or additional vaccinations. At this time there are no recommendations for additional vaccinations or booster shots for most of the community. However, some children under 9 years old may need an additional vaccination. Please call CCHD at (406) 454-6950 to speak with one of our public health nurses for additional information.