Early flu season could leave more North Dakotans sick

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Doctors have been warning of a bad flu season in the US because of what happened in Australia. The newest department of health numbers confirm that flu season is here.

The number of lab-confirmed cases is up to 304 in North Dakota, up more than 100 from last week. That number is expected to keep going up. The vaccine is projected to be less effective in preventing the flu, but the department of health recommends getting a flu shot.

“The influenza vaccine still provides some level of protection. You're less likely to have severe flu. You're also less likely to pass flu to others which is really important, especially for young children and elderly family members,” says Epidemiologist Jill Baber.

The CDC says that hospitalizations and outpatient visits because of the flu cost people more than $10 billion a year.