BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota health officials are seeing a higher-than-normal amount of flu activity for this time of year.

The Health Department says it typically doesn’t start seeing case numbers escalate until at least mid-December. As of the end of last week, there had been 124 cases statewide, with 10 hospitalizations.

Two-thirds of the cases were in Cass, Burleigh, Morton and Stark counties. Nearly half of the state’s counties have reported cases.

Health Department Epidemiologist Jill Baber says the earlier increase in cases might signal an earlier-than-usual flu season. She urges people to get flu shots as soon as possible.

Baber says prevention is especially important around the holidays, when people are getting together at social gatherings and traveling in larger numbers.

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