As October gets underway - the state health department reports 15 official cases of influenza in North Dakota.
Influenza surveillance coordinator Levi Schlosser says these cases are from McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Burleigh, Stutsman, Cass and Pembina counties. He says flu can circulate year round, but the official "season" kicks off in October. Schlosser says as of yet there is no indication to suggest this year's season will be more or less severe than the most recent previous seasons. He says the best way to mitigate the spread of influenza is vaccination.
"There's several ways people can prevent themselves from getting the flu - vaccination, good hand washing etiquette, staying home from work when you're ill, covering your cough or sneeze. And while the influenza vaccine isn't perfect, it is the best and easiest way to keep people healthy and prevent the flu."
Schlosser says flu vaccines are provided by health care providers, local public health units and many pharmacies.
The North Dakota Department of Health's influenza surveillance map can be found at - http://www.ndflu.com/.