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Published January 09, 2014, 08:36 PM

Number of flu cases increases in ND

BISMARCK - The number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases is on the rise, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

By: Forum News Service, INFORUM

BISMARCK - The number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases is on the rise, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

As of Thursday, 843 cases have been reported since Sept. 1, up 88 since the last report Dec. 19. Since not everyone goes to the doctor to be tested, this number is only a portion of the total cases for North Dakota.

The predominant strain circulating this season is the H1N1 pandemic strain, the first time this strain has been responsible for a majority of cases since the 2009-10 flu season. This strain affects more young to middle-age adults than normal, causing the department to emphasize flu vaccinations.

Even those vaccinated against H1N1 during the 2009 pandemic should consider renewing their vaccination, as its effectiveness can fade over time. The department stresses that it is not too late to get vaccinated and recommends contacting a health care provider or pharmacist about getting the vaccine as soon as possible, as the vaccine takes a few weeks to prevent the flu.

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