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101 Hospitalizations, 1 Death Due to Flu in Montana
Flathead County has had 67 confirmed cases since October and eight hospitalizations
State health officials say a Hill County resident has died of complications from the flu.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services said Wednesday that 101 people had been hospitalized due to the flu through Jan. 4, with over half in the past two weeks. The Hill County resident died last week.

Through the week ending Dec. 28, Montana had nearly 860 confirmed cases of flu and 65 hospitalizations.

Flathead County has had 67 confirmed cases since October and eight hospitalizations, including one child, according to the city-county health department. Health officials have seen a gradual increase in recent weeks. Flu season typically peaks in January and February.

Agency director Richard Opper encourages residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. The virus responsible for cases this year is the same H1N1 strain that circulated in 2009 and the vaccine includes protection against H1N1 as well as other types of influenza expected to circulate.

Several Montana hospitals have asked people who have a cough, cold or flu-like symptoms not to visit patients.
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