Type of flu in region lasts longer than other forms

LEWISTON, ID - The H-3 strain of influenza is a harsher form of the flu than we're used to in recent years and the Idaho North Central District Public Health department said they're seeing a spike in cases.

Division Administrator Michael Larson said the H1N1 pandemic was a milder form of the flu, and the H-3 strain that's being passed around currently can make you sick for a longer period of time. Larson said influenza is not a reportable illness as long as it's during the flu season but there has been about eight deaths in the state of Idaho so far.

"When you become acutely ill with it quite often you will catch a bacterial infection, generally a pneumonia, and quite often it is the pneumonia that you become deathly ill with or die from," said Larson.

Larson said washing your hands before touching your face or mouth is very important to avoid getting sick. There are still some vaccinations left in the region and he says taking full advantage of the shot is very important.