Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The first flu death was reported earlier this month in Cascade County, but Missoula Public Health reported on Tuesday that the first official cases of flu have been reported in Missoula, according to Infectious Disease Specialist Pam Whitney.

“So, here at Missoula Public Health we're reporting two flu cases,” began Whitney. “Now, the way we report these is early on we report only the confirmed cases, and not the ones that you go to a clinic and get unless that specimen was sent to the state for confirmation. That tells us how accurate the tests are for the strains that we're seeing. So they are accurate, and we've seen two that were confirmed in Missoula.”

The First Two Flu Cases have been Confirmed in Missoula

Whitney said the flu strain this year is reportedly more severe than in previous years.

“This is real early, but what I can tell you about the strains that we're seeing and it's influenza A, and its H1N1,” she said. “The last time we saw one come this early was back in oh my goodness, it was it was like 2009, and it came real early and it came real strong and it affected the younger people that had not seen the strains back in like in 1985. So it's a potent one and I really encourage the younger people to go get those flu shots.”

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Vaccination Clinics have been Scheduled in Missoula

Whitney provided details about upcoming flu vaccination clinics, in addition to the clinic on Wednesday at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

“On Saturday, there's a Health and Wellness Fair at the University of Montana in the UC Ballroom, and they're offering flu, COVID, the T DAP shingles, pneumonia, vaccines, all of those will be available and it's a Health and Wellness Fair, so just take your insurance card,” she said. “There will also be a vaccination clinic at Imagine Nation Brewery on Friday, October 27. We'll be there from four to seven offering the flu and COVID vaccines.”

Vaccinations are also Available at Missoula Public Health

Whitney said walk-in vaccinations are also available at Missoula Public Health weekdays from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Wednesdays by appointment at 301 West Alder in downtown Missoula.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

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