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Flu season hits earlier than normal

Flu season started earlier than normal this year. The North Dakota Department of Health says 1,077 flu cases have been reported so far in the state.

Lindsey VanderBusch is the influenza surveillance coordinator for the Department of Health.

"We're just seeing our cases, a bulk of our activity, sooner than we typically see our flu cases," VanderBusch said. "Generally we see the bulk of our activity in February and March, this year obviously in December and now into January."

People who haven’t received a flu vaccine should go get one, VanderBusch said. The vaccine takes about two weeks to become fully effective.

"What we do knows is that the vaccine that is available is a good match to the viruses we are seeing circulating," VanderBusch said.

VanderBusch said it cannot be predicted whether or not the overall number of flu cases will be more than most years.

Flu vaccines are the best form of prevention against influenza, VanderBusch said. She said people should also wash their hands often, cover their coughs and sneezes and stay home when they are sick.

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