Northwest Montana Still Coping With Intense Flu Season, One Missoula Fatality So Far
The number of flu cases in northwest Montana have been extremely high this month, but Missoula County Infectious Disease Specialist Pam Whitney says she is hopeful we’ve already seen the worst.
"We are not seeing the brunt of it, that Lake County is. We are still seeing a few hospitalizations, we're still seeing the predominant strain is H3N2, but I feel like we are starting to get over the hump... this weeks numbers are less than last weeks, so I think we're seeing some clear sky here."
Whitney says Missoula’s peak of reported flu cases was 36, last week there were 28. For comparison, Flathead County had over 80 cases in a one week span this month and Whitney is a little concerned flu might spike again in Missoula.
"December 31 through January 6, looking at my numbers here, was our peak week," Whitney said. "We have the University here and we like to travel and that's what brings flu cases in... so it's very possible, especially with spring break coming up, even though it's in march, it's still possible we get kind-of a bump up, because you know, people are traveling."
So far, there has been one Missoula fatality associated with flu and there have been around 20 flu related fatalities statewide. By April Whitney expects the number of flu cases to drop down to the single digits.