Flu cases this season expected to reach last year's numbers
MISSOULA, Mont. - We are right in the middle of the flu season, and according to an infectious disease specialist at the Missoula City-County Health Department, the confirmed number of cases this year is on target to hit similar numbers to last year’s. According to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, this flu season has seen 613 cases, 115 hospitalizations and eight deaths due to the virus. Last year there were 7,935 cases, 829 hospitalizations and 56 deaths due to the virus. The most common influenza type identified this season is influenza A H3. So far Flathead and Yellowstone counties have been hit hardest, but Pam Whitney, with the Missoula City-County Health Department, warns the flu season is far from over. “Right now we are in the midst of the flu season. We are seeing the most cases, and we probably see this level for the next couple weeks. But typically this year we see the flu winding down around the end of March, and so that is what we expect. I don't expect it to be any different than the past,” said Whitney. The state updates the number of flu cases every week. Health experts will tell you the season is not going to wind down any time soon.