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Published November 04, 2011, 05:20 PM

Flu Season Starting in Grand Forks; Officials Urge Vaccination

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Flu season is already starting in Grand Forks and more people are getting flu shots. Health officials say it's never too late for one of those.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Flu season is already starting in Grand Forks and more people are getting flu shots.

Health officials say it's never too late for one of those.

Both clinics and area schools have already seen cases of the flu nd because the influenza virus changes each year, officials hope more people will get the vaccination.

MaryAnn Delisle has been a school nurse in Grand Forks for nine years and has seen many cases of the flu over that time.

"One thing we really promote in the school is hand washing, we have hand sanitizers in all the classrooms and throughout the school," Delisle said.

That's just one of the things the school district is doing to help stop the spread of the influenza virus.

Now, Delisle helps with flu clinics held at schools throughout town after the H1N1 outbreak a couple years ago.

"We've tried to make it a little bit more convenient for the parents for working parents or parents that maybe just it's hard to get their children to get the flu vaccine," Delisle said.

Area clinics have had people come in with symptoms as well.

"One year our peak was in December, one year it wasn't until March, so it varies through the winter," registered nurse at Altru Rita Myers said.

According to the center for disease control, 36,000 people die each year from flu-related diseases. Through awareness, health officials hope more people get the shot and wash their hands so flu cases decrease.

"There's more and more people getting flu shots every year. I was just looking at my numbers from last year and in October they have about doubled the shots that I gave from this year to last year," Myers said.

"If a child has a fever of 100 or greater we send them home and we tell them they need to stay home for 24 hours," Deslisle said.

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