- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana’s 2014-15 flu season is already more severe than last year’s with at least three months remaining.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services says 395 people have been hospitalized with influenza and 10 people have died since mid-December. The report released Friday included data through Jan. 24.

During the week of Jan. 18-24, 711 cases of flu were reported to state health officials, bringing this season’s total to 3,670.

Last season, there were 3,200 reported cases, just over 300 hospitalizations and eight deaths. Fifteen people died of the flu during the 2012-13 season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said this season’s flu shot is only about 23 percent effective because it doesn’t immunize against the virus that is making most people sick. Typically, the flu shot is 50 to 60 percent effective.

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