Minnesota health officials are reporting a surge in flu outbreaks at schools and long-term care facilities. Through the end of last week, 203 new schools reported outbreaks, compared with 19 the previous week.
The number of Minnesota schools suffering from flu outbreaks shot up dramatically this week. Last week, only 19 schools reported new outbreaks. This week, that number spiked to 203. The Minnesota Department of Health also said Thursday that two children have now died from the flu in Minnesota. And more than 300 people have gotten so sick they had to stay in the hospital.
Winter break has started early for at least two Minnesota schools – but not for a good reason. The districts say it’s because so many kids and staff have the flu.
This year’s flu vaccine isn’t a good match for this year’s most common strains of influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 48 percent of flu virus samples taken through last month were closely related to this year’s North American vaccine.
A Mendota Heights school will close two days before its winter break due to an outbreak of the flu. Convent of the Visitation School said its Lower School has closed for Thursday and Friday due to an outbreak of “influenza-like illnesses.”
The flu is now so widespread in Minnesota that some Twin Cities hospitals are restricting visitors from seeing patients Fairview Health Services announced some temporary changes to visitor policies at six hospitals Tuesday.
Hundreds of people in Owatonna came out to Morehead Park on Sunday to remember Shannon Zwanziger, a 17-year-old who died on Tuesday after having the flu.
An early start to the flu season has claimed its latest victim: collegiate hockey. Minnesota State University-Mankato cancelled its Saturday home game against Princeton because several players are out with the flu. The game will be recorded as “no contest” and not a forfeit because it was cancelled due to illness.
Minnesota is dealing with a widespread flu outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health reports the outbreak started in southern Minnesota, but now they are seeing an increase in cases in central Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area. Hennepin County Medical Center officials say its doctors are treating 25 out of about 165 patients hospitalized for flu in the state.
Health workers at Regions Hospital say they’re overwhelmed with people complaining of influenza-like symptoms.
December marks the start of peak flu season. State Health officials warn every-day spots like grocery store are common places to pick up the virus. “Going to mall, going to store, going to church,” said Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Health Department.
Influenza and respiratory illness is now widespread in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. According to MDH, during the week of Dec. 6 indicators showed the flu had spread to be considered widespread across the state.
A Minnesota high school is feeling the full effects of the flu season, including the death of one of their classmates. According to her family, 17-year-old Shannon Zwanziger had been suffering from flu-like symptoms for about a week and had also been battling a severe sore throat. Her parents took her to a hospital as she was unable to eat or drink anything.
It’s the time of year when the sick list can get long. The common cold, the flu and strep throat can leave businesses a bit understaffed. So over the course of the year, how much sick time do we take? The average American worker is given about eight to 10 days of sick leave a year, but most people only take between 3 and 6.
Although concerns are mounting across the nation of Ebola exposure, doctors fear the focus could be diverting attention from another potential threat: the flu.