Posted: Jan 13, 2013 2:58 PM by KXLF
Updated: Jan 13, 2013 3:08 PM
There have been more than 50 hospitalizations and one death in Montana due to Influenza this flu season. Health care providers in Butte-Silver Bow County have seen nearly 500 cases of influenza this season, according to Kirwan Webb, MD at Rocky Mountain Express Care.
Health care providers want people to know it is not too late for a flu vaccine.
"The flu season is going to last another month or so, and so I would recommend people still get the flu vaccine if they haven't had it yet," Webb said.
This flu season is worse than last year, according to Webb. Health care providers encourage getting your vaccine from a major pharmacy. It is quicker and cheaper, averaging about $30.
"Some people will swear they got the flu after they got the flu vaccine, but it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to kick in," Webb said. "Typically people get the flu vaccine during flu season so they might actually catch the flu before their vaccines kicked in."
Local pharmacies are giving about 20 flu vaccines a day, according to representatives at Safeway Pharmacy in Butte. Health care providers recommend the quick pinch of the vaccine over the symptoms of the flu.
"It's a very sudden onset of headache, fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches," Webb said. "And they usually all occur at once. Most people describe it as feeling like they got hit by a truck."
See your health care provider immediately if you get the flu. Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. Use Tylenol and Ibuprofen, and eat chicken broth to help kill the virus, Webb said.
Flu season is expected to last another two to three months.