Wyoming Department of Health Officials say the flu season which is now winding down has claimed the lives of 26 Wyoming residents since October.

WDH spokeswoman Kim Deti says the unusually high death toll was due in part to the fact the flu vaccine which was distributed last year didn't match of up well against the influenza strain that was most common. She also says this year's flu was both widespread and unusually deadly.

She says that combination of a factors led to the 26 deaths reported in Wyoming over that last few months. That compares with an average of about 6.5 flu deaths in the state over the last few years.

Deti says even though this year's vaccine was especially effective, flu shots are still the best defense against influenza going forward and people should continue to get them.

Other protections against the flu include frequent hand washing and generally good health practices.

Deti also says people who do have the flu should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the disease