Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Montana Health officials confirm this year’s first flu case

Flu season sign and a thermometer
designer491/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Local and state health officials Thursday confirmed Montana’s first influenza case since April of 2020. It involves a child from Flathead County.

Health officials were testing for influenza last flu season, but detected none. They attribute that to public health policies implemented during the pandemic’s early days, including widespread adoption of masking mandates and social distancing.

Montana’s mask mandate has since been rescinded and distancing is no longer as common.

Montana’s 2019-2020 flu season racked-up over 11,000 cases, 514 hospitalizations and 41 deaths.

Health officials say the flu shot, like COVID vaccines, prevent or lessen the virus’s impact. The vaccines can also be received simultaneously.

Flu symptoms are similar to COVID’s and include fever, exhaustion, body aches and coughing. A diagnosis can only be confirmed through testing.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information