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Montana flu season could be worst since 2009

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013

No shortages in flu vaccines have been reported, though the health department encouraged those who want to be vaccinated to call their provider, pharmacy or health department in advance to make sure the vaccine is available.

Kate Siegrist, the director of Health Services for Missoula City-County Health Department, said county health officials are keeping careful inventory of their vaccine supplies to ensure they don't fall short. Some providers have run low for vaccines for children, but the health department has been able to refer parents to other locations, she said.

"We ordered twice this week to make sure our stocks are up," she said.

While some people suffer minor complications from the flu, the elderly, infants and those with chronic health problems can experience complications that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue. Some people also suffer vomiting and diarrhea, and some develop pneumonia or other severe complications.

The flu season usually peaks in midwinter and lasts until May. Health officials said it is not too late to get vaccinated.