Flu-related deaths, hospitalizations and outbreaks in schools and nursing homes continued to spike last week in Minnesota.
There were 33 confirmed influenza-related deaths in Minnesota during the second week of January, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. So far this flu season, there have been 60 deaths in the state, and 1,842 people hospitalized.
There has been a large increase in the number of flu cases coming into Stillwater Medical Group’s clinics, as well as urgent care, Dr. Brian Cress said. There has also been a large increase in the number of people requesting flu vaccines.
“This is the worst standard flu season I have seen in some time,” Dr. Cress said.
The total number of deaths now surpasses last year (33) and is nearing the pandemic flu outbreak of 2009-10 that killed 67 Minnesotans.
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The Minnesota Department of Corrections issued this notice to visitors at Stillwater and Oak Park Heights prisons:
"As seasonal influenza continues to spread across the state, the DOC is advising those with influenza-like illness not to visit our prisons. This will help the department minimize the number of people who become ill.
Additionally, offenders who have influenza-like illness will not be allowed to have visitors until their symptoms have resolved.
Symptoms include: a temperature of 100 degrees or higher with a cough and/or sore throat.
Offenders will be able to contact visitors should their visiting become restricted due to illness."
According to state health officials, 88 percent of the deaths were patients age 65 or older. There were no deaths in the past week involving patients younger than 24.
The flu has now struck a total of 107 long-term nursing facilities in the state, as well as 254 schools.
Dr. Cress Provided the Following Flu Advice:
- Get vaccinated, there is still time.
- A vaccination will protect you from the other two strains of the flu.
- Wash your hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take Care of yourself