MISSOULA, Mont. - In 2012, 164 children died nationwide from the flu. With flu season just a few weeks away NBC Montana decided to check in with health officials to find out how you can protect your family.
Health experts say the best thing you can do is make sure to get vaccinated.
The flu vaccine can take up to two weeks to take effect, so health experts say now is the time to get your shot.
If you have a fear of needles there is a new nasal mist that you can opt for -- it's for people ages 2 to 49; the nasal mist cannot be used by pregnant woman or anyone with a chronic illness.
Officials at the Missoula County Public Health Department say they always get a rush of folks in for vaccines after the first case is reported.
So far no cases have been reported in Missoula County this year but officials say get vaccinated now because it's not worth the risk.
"With an inactivated flu vaccine it's probably 10 to 14 days before you get a really good immune response," says Sara Heineman with the Missoula County Health Department. "In that time period you can still get exposed and get sick, so hand washing is the No. 1 key component to staying healthy during the flu season."
According to the CDC, manufacturers are expected to produce more than 135 million doses this year.
For more information about where you and your family can get vaccinated, click here.
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