ND Department of Health categorizes this year's flu as widespread

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More than 3,200 cases of the flu have been confirmed in North Dakota this season, with some cases being serious. With two flu deaths already, healthcare officials say the flu is never something to be taken lightly.

The North Dakota Department of Health is categorizing this year’s flu season as widespread.

"We're beginning to see influenza activity increase, and in more counties across the state," said Levi Schlosser, influenza surveillance coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health.

With around 600 cases in the state in last week alone, it becomes even more important to focus on how to stay healthy.

"The most important thing you could've done in terms of flu prevention is getting a flu shot," said Supha Arthurs, a physician with Sanford Health.

Schlosser says it's too early to tell the effectiveness of this year's vaccine, but you should still get one.

"It's not too late to get your flu shot, we encourage everyone to do so if you have not already done so," Schlosser said.

While it is January, we may not have seen the worst of flu season yet.

"We still think that this season can last as late as march," Arthurs said.

In addition to being vaccinated, healthcare officials say to be sure to wash your hands and cover your cough or sneeze properly.

There haven’t been any pediatric flu-related deaths in North Dakota yet this year. Officials hope to see this continue as flu season concludes.