Wyoming Department of Health [WDH] officials are reminding Wyoming residents over six months old to get their flu shots.

WDH epidemiologist Reggie McClinton was quoted in a news release as saying the 2018-2019  Wyoming flu season was severe and spread out over an unusually long time.

"Unfortunately, we received reports of about 23 flu-related deaths, hundreds of hospitalizations and thousands of reported cases of flu,” McClinton said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control estimates anywhere between 12,000 and 79,000 people a year die in the United States from the flu.

State health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said “Everyone six months of age and older should receive their seasonal flu vaccine every year. Flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine is updated every season to protect against flu strains that research suggests will be common for the upcoming season,” she added. “Flu vaccines are safe and reduce occurrences of the illness, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Flu vaccines are available in a variety of locations, including public health nursing offices, many workplaces, doctors' offices, and others.