If you think the flu is worse this year than last year, you're right. The Missoula City County Health Department confirms that a more severe strain of flu is active this season.

Director of Health Promotion Cindy Hotchkiss says this strain of flu began to assert itself in early December, and has become more widespread because of the holidays, with more contact between family and friends.

Hotchkiss says its not too late to get a flu shot, and they are available at many local drugstores, and at the Health Department.

Hotchkiss says the flu starts with body aches and upper respiratory congestion and may last from a week to 10 days. Hotchkiss says to keep from getting the flu, wash your hands thoroughly and ask others to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze.

Health Department Director of Health Promotion CIndy Hotchkiss