Flu shot

Wyoming Department of Health

It's flu season, so public health officials are pushing the flu shot, but many in the Mountain West are particularly bad at taking that advice.

The flu epidemic was especially deadly last year. And our region was no exception. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the U.S. from the flu virus last season, including a record high of 180 children.  

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Flu season has arrived in Wyoming, and the state’s Department of Health is urging residents to get their flu shots.

Department spokeswoman Kim Deti said it is nearly impossible to predict the severity of the flu season ahead of time, but they can always predict that it is coming.

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The Ebola virus may be dominating the headlines and conversations about public health, but Wyoming Public Health officials are trying to educate residents about the threat of another, potentially more dangerous virus: the flu.

Reggie McClinton, with the Wyoming Department of Health, says contracting the flu is a more immediate threat to Wyomingites.

"Influenza also can lead to death in individuals and it can be a severe illness in certain populations so we are receiving reports of cases already from all across the state," he says.

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Flu shots are available in many pharmacies and doctors’ offices across Wyoming, but an infectious disease doctor recommends people put off getting immunized until next month.


Dr. Mark Dowell is the Public Health Officer for Natrona County and is a physician at Wyoming Medical Center. He says Wyoming’s flu season doesn’t usually peak until January, and he says a flu shot from September might be less potent by then.