MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The flu is the virus that haunts us all winter long.
But Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health is calling this season lackluster, so far.
“I know a lot of people are thinking, ‘It was so much busier the last couple of years, what’s happening?'” Ehresmann said. “But actually, flu often, normally, will peak in February or later.”
Ehresmann says the official season is October through May, but it peaked early the last two years.
“Last year we started to see influenza activity at the beginning of December, and we’re starting to see, you know, some of our peaking late in the year and then in early January,” she said.
If you have not had your vaccine yet, there is still time.
“A lot of times people think, ‘You know what? I fall into that sort of healthy adult age group. I don’t really get that sick, why is it important for me to get vaccinated?’ And we want people to remember that you’re getting vaccinated not just for yourself, but for the people around you,” Ehresmann said.
She says those who are more vulnerable when ill — like children, pregnant women and seniors — will also benefit from your vaccination. It is about stopping the spread.
“This flu season, we’re still watching and waiting. I think it remains to be seen how it’s going to present itself,” Ehresmann said. “But it’s too early to say that we’ve dodged a bullet with flu.”
If you do get the flu, it is too late for a vaccination. But Ehresmann suggests seeing your doctor for an anti-viral medication that can help shorten the course of the illness.
The best way to avoid influenza is with a vaccination, but you should also wash hands often, cough into your arm, eat well, drink lots of fluids and rest — all the things mom says.