Season’s First Flu Case Confirmed in Cascade County

Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) has received confirmation of Cascade County’s first influenza case of the season from the Montana Public Health Laboratory. This is also the first influenza case for the state of Montana this flu season.

Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms that may include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. The flu virus is contagious and spreads from person to person through droplets when sneezing or coughing. It can also be spread when a person touches an object that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. Most people who get the flu recover within one to two weeks, although complications such as bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic health conditions can occur. These complications can results in hospitalization and, in severe cases, death. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to influenza or influenza-related complications.

Although the flu can be very serious, CCHD wants people to remember that there are ways to help keep themselves and their families healthy this flu season. “A flu shot is still the best protection against the flu,” states Jill Boettcher, CCHD Public Health Nurse. “Flu season typically starts in October, so this is the optimal time to get a flu shot,” she continues. “Practicing good prevention habits—washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, and staying home when you are sick – will also help prevent the spread of influenza.”

Flu shots are available at the City-County Health Department every Tuesday from 8:00-11:30 am and Wednesday through Friday from 8:30-11:30am and 1-4:30pm. No appointment is necessary. This year, CCHD is pleased to offer both trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines. Medicare, Medicaid and Healthy Montana Kids are accepted along with cash, checks, credit cards and other insurances.

For more information, visit CCHD’s Immunizations page or www.cdc.gov/flu.