ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The flu can be serious, even deadly and it spreads easily, but this year, many are wondering, where is it?

In the past two years, flu activity in Minnesota was all over the place, but this year flu numbers are flat. WCCO-TV went to the Science Museum of Minnesota on Thursday, where everyone likes to get hands on. The staff works all night to sanitize games and displays.

They’ve also put in 12 hand-sanitizing machines throughout the museum to stop the spread of germs.

It appears there aren’t many going around.

The Minnesota Department of Health shows less than one percent of people going to their doctor with flu-like symptoms. During a peak season it’s three to four percent.

WEB EXTRA: Check out flu stats from the Minnesota Department of Health

Doug Schultz with the Minnesota Department of Health doesn’t want you to let your guard down, because he doesn’t think just one thing is leading to the lower numbers.

He said it could that more people got flu shots, there could be better marketing efforts or our mild winter may have kept germs from spreading as easily.

“It could just be that it’s a down year for the virus and it could come back with a vengeance next year, we really don’t know,” said Schultz.

The health department is encouraging people to still get a flu shot. It’s not too late, even with low numbers now. The peak season actually isn’t until mid-February.

Comments (8)
  1. mel says:

    I think the nice weather has something to do with it; fresh air, sunshine (vitamin D), and exercise. There’s a reason all the flu outbreaks happen in the winter; stagnant air, shut-in, little sunshine (vitamin D). Glad to hear it’s a healthy winter for most of us!

  2. Karen Zimny Nelson says:

    Are you kidding me? Everyone in my immediate and extended family has had it just recently, and the majority of my co-workers and other acquaintences. And yes, I got the flu shot – get it every year, and still get the flu.

    1. Mike says:

      Colds are not influenza. Do you know the difference?

    2. Chi Makwa says:

      There’s another category of respiratory viruses called parainfluenza. This isn’t the flu either. It has similar symptoms but it’s not quite as debilitating. It’s also far more common than influenza. BTW, remember that the flu is a respiratory virus. A lot of physicians have used the term “stomach flu” to refer in general to viral GI infections. (Many have the bad habit of talking down to their patients, as if we wouldn’t understand what it means to have a stomach or intestinal virus.) This has led to an unfortunately widespread confusion over what the flu is. The flu doesn’t cause GI problems.

  3. Nurse says:

    Stomach symptoms (if that’s what you’re referring to) are not the “flu.” Influenza is an upper respiratory condition with sore throat, headache, body aches, fever. I work at a clinic and we are not seeing influenza, just every other viral bug that’s out there right now.

  4. eric stratten says:

    Hmmm? Less people getting flu shots, less flu? Please tell me what to think oh news gods.

  5. Chi Makwa says:

    There are no “harmful ingredients” in the flu shots, unless you count egg protein, which some people are allergic to. No studies have ever found a link between flu shots and anything more serious than pain at the injection site and allergic reactions to the egg proteins. The alleged link to autism was published by a physician in the UK who was stripped of his medical license and tried for fraud because his data was made up. (Yes, people lie sometimes.) The form of mercury in some forms of the vaccine has never been reported as toxic at any level, and they were injecting the stuff straight early in the 20th century at doses thousands of times higher than what’s found in the vaccine. Using that particular substance has saved many lives because it prevents bacterial contamination in the vaccine. Finally, there is no difference in the rates of autism between kids who get the flu shots and kids who don’t. One real difference is kids who don’t get the shots get much sicker more often, and some even die from the flu.

  6. eric stratten says:

    Forms of mercury (thimerosal) building up in our brains one injection at a time.

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