Flu cases increase following holiday season

Jan 7, 2019

Flu cases in North Dakota are beginning to increase after the holiday season.

Jenny Galbraith is immunization surveillance coordinator with the North Dakota Department of Health. She says 136 cases have been reported in the past week, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 750. She says because people tend to travel around and visit families and friends over the holidays, it's typical for flu cases to spike in January.

"Normally after the holidays, this kind of time is mainly when we see our increase start to happen. We did have an early start to the season, but it had gone back down - so we do expect that it's going to go up."

Galbraith says while we are deep into the flu season, it's never too late to get vaccinated against the flu to protect yourself and others.

"Any time the flu is circulation is a great time to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine does take two weeks to become effective, so now would be a great time to get it since we are starting to see an increase."

Galbraith says there are other ways to prevent the spread of flu; she says frequent hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home when sick are all help protect others from contracting the virus.