Posted: Jan 8, 2013 8:52 AM by Tara Oster - MTN News
KALISPELL - The number of flu cases in the Flathead has jumped again, with 59 new cases reported last week, according the Flathead City-County Health Department.
That brings the total number of cases to nearly 160.
Health officials say 54 of those cases were confirmed by lab tests, and five more were suspected of being the flu.
Flathead County has reported higher flu numbers than many of the other counties in Montana, and health department director Joe Russell says he's a little surprised Missoula and Gallatin counties aren't reporting higher numbers due to the universities.
"[It] could mean that we do have more disease, the prevalence of disease is higher in our community, or it could be that we're just doing a better job surveilling our community, too. We could be out there finding flu cases where maybe others aren't finding as much," Joe Russell explained.
He added that having more than 160 flu cases still isn't that bad in a county of 90,000 people. However, health officials are urging resident to get vaccinated against the flu.