Flu cases confirmed in Gallatin, Flathead counties

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — At least two counties in Montana are reporting lab-confirmed cases of influenza, signaling the start of flu season.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department says its cases were confirmed in two adolescent boys, while the Flathead County health department also confirmed two cases Wednesday.

Health officials are encouraging residents to get flu shots, to protect themselves and others who might be vulnerable to the virus.

Flu symptoms include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, headaches, muscle aches, runny or stuffy nose and fatigue.

State health officials say there were more than 10,500 laboratory-confirmed or suspected cases of flu during the 2012-13 influenza season, 361 people were hospitalized and the deaths of 15 people were directly attributed to the flu.

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