Wiconsin and Minnesota are among 25 states now reporting “widespread” seasonal flu activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu season runs from October through May, but usually peaks in January and February.
As of Jan. 4, the most recent date available, 378 influenza-related hospitalizations have been reported in Minnesota this season, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Last week saw 144 hospitalizations, and the week before saw 118.
The Twin Cities metro area has the state’s second-highest rate of hospitalizations at 7.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. Only the southeast region, at 9.3 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, is higher.
There have so far been 19 school outbreaks, although none were reported last week or the week before.
- See the attached PDF for the full Department of Health report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. Children under age nine may need to return for a second dose of immunization.
The CDC offers the following recommendations to residents:
- Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business. Contact your health care provider today for your flu vaccine.
- Students and adults should stay home from school or work if they develop influenza-like illness.
- If you do get sick, wash hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use a tissue and quickly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. This will prevent the spread of germs.
- Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
- Individuals who are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza should seek medical attention at the first signs of illness. People at high risk for developing serious flu complications include children younger than 5 years, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, blood disorders, morbid obesity, kidney and liver disorders, HIV or AIDS, and cancer.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov. For flu-related questions contact FluInbox@cdc.gov.