Eighteen Montanans have died of the flu this season. The state health department says that all but three counties have reported at least one case of influenza, for a total just shy of 2,000 infections statewide.
Hillary Hanson is a health officer with the Flathead County Health Department.
"It's definitely a lot more cases than we had last year at this time," says Hillary Hanson, a health officer with the Flathead County Health Department. "But we're not sure if that means our flu season is going to peak earlier or whether this could be a more serious season that will continue.
Hanson says there’s been 300 reported cases of the virus in Flathead County, leading to 40 hospitalizations and five deaths.
Of the 18 deaths statewide, all but two were adults over the age of 65.
Hanson recommends getting a flu vaccination and for people experiencing symptoms to limit exposure with others, especially young children, people over age 65 and pregnant women.