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.
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.”
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.
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.
Although concerns are mounting across the nation of Ebola exposure, doctors fear the focus could be diverting attention from another potential threat: the flu.
New figures released by the Minnesota Department of Health show the flu continues to be widespread. Last week there were 186 hospitalizations, down nine from the previous week. But experts say that does not reflect a decrease because many cases from last week have yet to be officially reported. Doctors who spoke with WCCO say many people who have gotten the flu this year are laid up for at least a week.
The number of flu cases is up sharply in Minnesota. Last week, there were 144 flu-related hospitalizations across the state. That’s up from 118 the week before.
The Minnesota Department of Health says the flu is now widespread across Minnesota. The department reported Thursday there were 71 influenza-related hospitalizations reported last week. That’s nearly twice the number reported the week before.
Every fall, information flies around about the dreaded flu nearly as fast as the sneezes start to fly, and it can be tough to filter all of that information. Natalie Nyhus talked with Dr. Jess Prischmann to try and separate the myths about the flu from the facts.
Doctors hope a new four-strain flu vaccine will mean fewer people getting sick this season.
The Minnesota Health Department reported three more flu deaths in the last week, bringing the season’s total number of fatalities closer to 200. The latest figures show 197 deaths in Minnesota due to influenza.