The number of flu cases in Montana continues to climb, with 859 new cases reported last week, the most recent reporting period. A month ago about 500 cases were reported in a single week.
The state health department says influenza continues to be widespread in Montana. So far this flu season more than 5,000 cases have been reported across the state, more than ten percent of those resulted in hospitalizations. Twenty four deaths due to flu have been reported in Montana this season, all but three of those deaths were people age 65 and older.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says new data show that this season’s flu vaccine is working slightly better than previously believed. The agency says that overall it’s about 36 percent effective at preventing flu. The CDC also says the vaccine is working better for children age six months to eight years than for older adults.
The latest flu report from Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services is available here.