BOISE -- The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is reporting that four more people in the state have died from flu-related complications, bringing the total number of deaths this flu season to seven.

IDHW reported the first flu-related deaths for the season in December-- three women, one from southeast Idaho and two from southwest Idaho. All three were over the age of 50.

IDHW did not have details of the latest reported deaths other than to say the deaths happened in November and December. However, spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr says the department is especially concerned about the elderly.

People at higher risk include infants, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, and people 65 and older.

This year's flu season is off to its earliest start in decades. Forbing-Orr says typically the flu doesn't spike until January or February, but this season began in December, making it even more critical to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

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