MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With flu cases in Minnesota up 25 percent in just one week, physicians are pushing the vaccine.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick,” Dr. Laura Schrag at North Memorial Hospital said. “The reason it’s serious is that it hits hard, hits a lot of people and spreads quickly.”

Last week, there were 144 flu-related hospitalizations across the state compared to 118 the week before. The increase in the number of cases had people rushing to get their flu shot on Saturday.

“I was just so busy with work and school,” Laura Lentz said as she went in to get her flu shot. “Then working with sick people all day I decided I really need it.”

Doctors said last week’s extreme cold may have had something to do with the rise in cases as frigid temperatures kept people indoors past the holidays.

“One of the things that contributes is everyone is home from break with the holidays and that’s a lot of people in a small space,”Dr. Schrag said. “Any time people are kept together indoors.”

Dr. Schrag said if you have symptoms like dehydration, an ongoing fever that won’t go down, dizziness or fainting, or if you have comorbid risk factors for the flu like asthma, you should see a doctor. Otherwise, resting at home and drinking plenty of fluids is best for recovery.

The Centers for Disease Control predicts flu season will peak in February.

“Just go in and get it done because being sick is no fun,” Lentz said.

Kate Raddatz