Flu season off to slow start in Wyoming - KOTA Territory News

Flu season off to slow start in Wyoming

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Flu season typically hits its peak in KOTA Territory as we get into the heart of winter, but so far the season is off to a slow start.

"Last year we had a pretty significant outbreak in September. This year, so far, we haven't really had an outbreak," said registered nurse Toby Granger with Sheridan County Public Health.

Only two reported flu cases in Sheridan County so far and none in Sheridan County School District Number One, where officials have taken several preventive steps.

"We offered free flu shots to all of our students and then also as part of our staff wellness program, we offered them for our staff. I would say the vast majority of our students and our staff participated," said the school district's business manager Jeremy Smith.

New ozone based cleaning materials were implemented this year in the district's schools, like Tongue River High School, to help prevent diseases from spreading.

"It really does two things. It cleans very effectively; kills cold, flu viruses, all kinds of bacteria as well. But really, it also reduces the amount of chemicals that our staff and our kids come in contact with every day," said Smith.

And judging by the drop in absences from last year these steps are making a difference.

"Throughout the whole season we had over 100 students out at various points, and this year so far none," said Smith.

The flu is also off to a slow start in South Dakota, just eight confirmed cases, compared to about 100 at this point last year. But you never know when an outbreak could hit so it's important to follow basic tips, like remembering to wash your hands.

"Cover your cough with either your sleeve or a Kleenex. Stay home when you're sick, except to see a doctor, and then of course get the flu shot if you haven't already gotten it," said Granger.

Campbell County has had the most reported cases in Wyoming, 52 of the state's 115 flu cases.

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