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Montana confirms first flu cases of season, urges folks to get vaccinated

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Oct 02 2012 04:58:28 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed four cases of influenza in Montana so far this season- two teens and two adults.

These cases come earlier than last year's and 2010's, when health officials didn't see flu cases until late November.

That's why the state is emphasizing the importance of getting vaccinated.

They say the vaccine is widely available and strongly recommended for everyone older than six months.

We stopped by an assisted living facility to see how important the vaccine is for them. Seniors we spoke to say they always get a flu vaccine, not only for their health but for the health of others.

"Never forget.  I always do them and I try to do them early in the year," says Bozeman Lodge resident A.J. Hancock.

Resident Mary Shaw says she always gets an annual flu vaccine, also.

"I don't want to get sick and I want to be able to be around people and still feel that I'm okay," says Shaw.

Many assisted living facilities, like the Bozeman Lodge, organize special days for their residents and staff to get vaccinated.

Because the flu is so dangerous for the elderly, the Lodge also encourages residents to stay in their apartments when they're sick to avoid affecting others.