Widespread flu activity reported

Vaccines are publicly available

Vaccines are publicly available

There have been five flu-related deaths in the province so far this season, three in the Eastern Health Region.

The North Dakota Department of Health is reporting "widespread influenza activity" across the state.

"Flu illness is more unsafe than the common cold for children", the CDC says.

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The State, particularly Perth, has experienced higher than average flu cases this year, with 390 laboratory-confirmed cases for January - nearly double the number for the same month in the previous two years.

Officials are encouraging residents to get the flu vaccine, wash their hands frequently and try to avoid contact with others if experiencing cold or flu symptoms. The highest hospitalization rate was among adults 65 and older. That total also includes two people who died in previous weeks but whose deaths were not initially linked to the flu.

"Each year flu places a large burden on the health and well-being of children and their families", the CDC says.

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