The Flathead Beacon reports that the flu season is off to an early start in Montana. State health officials say confirmed cases of influenza have been reported in six counties in September: Yellowstone, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Beaverhead and Broadwater. Flu season usually begins in October. The Department of Public Health and Human Services is urging residents to get their yearly vaccination. It takes two weeks for the shot to become fully effective. Read the full story here.