Montana health officials confirm first influenza death this season

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According to the health unit, the flu shot is the best protection against getting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established National Influenza Immunization Week (NIVW) in 2005 to highlight the importance of continued vaccination through the busy holiday season and into the new year when flu activity is typically at its peak. "As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible against the flu" said Dr. Peter Hasler, Santa Barbara County Deputy Health Officer. No appointment is necessary.

IN has already recorded two flu-related deaths this season.

Flu Shot
Medical Monday: protect yourself against the flu

Kaiser Permanente reported 10 percent of influenza samples tested positive last week for the flu.

In addition to the flu shot, other ways to reduce the risk of infection include frequent handwashing; coughing or sneezing into your sleeve, rather than into your hand; and staying home from work or school when you or your child are ill. "Perhaps, more importantly in some settings, is the fact that the more people who get vaccinated, the less flu spreads around", added Dr. Rehm.

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The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an annual influenza vaccination.

Moreover, flu shots can be administered any time during pregnancy. It also spreads when people touch certain surfaces or objects contaminated with the droplets. These high-risk people include young children, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older, and anyone with chronic health conditions such as asthma or diabetes. "The flu must be taken seriously and we encourage residents to take steps to protect themselves and their families".

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"Since implementing our mandatory flu vaccine program in 2013-2014, our vaccination compliance has always exceeded these benchmarks", Rasimowicz said. It is especially important for these individuals to be vaccinated each year.

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