The North Dakota Department of Health is reporting "higher than normal" influenza activity so far for the season, according to a news release.

Health officials said increases in the number of influenza cases are typically reported around mid-December, or later.

So far, there have been 124 cases of influenza reported for the 2017-18 season, according to data from the state Health Department. At this time last season, there were 52 cases.

Health officials said the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each season. The flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

This season, most of the cases have been reported from the southern half of the state, but the week before Thanksgiving about a third of all cases were in the Bismarck-Mandan area, according to Jill Baber, an epidemiologist with health department.

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