There has been a spike in Montana flu cases the past few weeks. 64 cases have been added since Sunday across the state. Epidemiologist with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Stacy Anderson, says this season has been a little different than normal.

"This year our flu season hasn't been super characteristic," said Anderson. "We have had sort of a slow start, but once we get in to peak weeks of an influenza season this is about what we would see. Adding quite a few cases over a course of several weeks."

Anderson says there have been a large number of recent hospitalizations because of flu, she points out that most of those cases have something in common.

"So far during the course of this season we have had 28 hospitalizations across the state and 90% of those individuals were not vaccinated prior to hospitalization," said Anderson. "This year our influenza vaccine seems to be a very good match to the strains that are circulating and so you want to make sure if you haven't gotten a flu shot there is still time to get one."

 

Missoula County has reported 24 flu cases to date. The flu strain people are getting now is the familiar H1N1 strain, popularly known as swine flu.