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By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first two flu cases of the season.

The department says in a news release that flu was found in samples from patients in Harrison and Lamar counties. The statement doesn’t say when the cases were identified.

State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier says the report should serve as a reminder that it’s time to get flu shots.

Flu activity is monitored through the Influenza-like Illness Sentinel Surveillance System, made up of health care providers in Mississippi who report the percentage of patients with flulike symptoms to a statewide database.

State health officials use this information to determine the spread of influenza in Mississippi. Health care providers also submit samples for testing to the state lab.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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