Influenza killed 15 more Minnesotans last week, bringing the total number of state deaths in the current outbreak to 75—more than the total number of state residents killed during the last big outbreak during 2009-10.
But the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) weekly flu update, released Thursday afternoon, also contained good news: Only 208 people across the state were newly hospitalized last week with laboratory-confirmed influenza, a big drop from the 476 hospitalized the previous week.
Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz told WCCO that it will be another week before officials know for sure where the flu season has peaked in Minnesota. But he added that trends are pointing in that direction.
For example, there were only nine confirmed outbreaks in long-term care facilities last week; there were more than 50 the week before.
You can still protect yourself from influenza and limit the spread of the disease.
State health officials say it’s not too late: “If you haven’t yet been vaccinated, get vaccinated for influenza.”
If you're considering getting a flu vaccine, here are some places in Oakdale that offer the vaccine:
- HealthEast Oakdale Clinic
- Target pharmacy
During flu season, besides getting vaccinated, there are other steps people can take to avoid spreading or catching influenza:
- Stay home when ill.
- Cover your cough
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Treat symptoms with over the counter medications.