PUBLIC HEALTH MINUTE
The seasonal flu has arrived in Minnesota. In fact it started early (week of Dec 2) according to the CDC which tracks flu activity & surveillance providing a weekly FluView.
Beginning the week of December 2 (week 49 of 2012) cases spiked in MN.
The Pioneer Press reported online that the Minnesota Department of Health says an increasing number of schools across the state are reporting flu-like illnesses.
Schools have reported increasing flu-like outbreaks. In St. Cloud, a Catholic school even canceled classes due to a large number of students being out sick.
Disease is transmitted very quickly. Best defense is
- Good hand washing- sounds basic but we do not always practice this
- Cover mouth and nose for coughing and sneezing
- Eat well, stay hydrated and get good sleep
- Exercise to stay physically and emotionally healthy
- If you or any of your family becomes ill with flu or any cold, do not go to work, school, church, shopping etc. Stay at home until you are symptom free for 24 hours. This can be hard for families that have both parents working and children who become sick
On average, about 24,000 Americans die each flu season, according to the CDC. It is not too late to get a vaccine now.
Centers for Disease Control. (2012). 2012-2013 Flu season. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm
Minnesota Department of Health. (2012). Flu stats. Retrieved from Minnesota Department of Health website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/stats/flustats2.pdf
Pioneer Press. (2012, December 19). Minnesota: Flu-like illnesses on the rise in state schools. Retrieved from Pioneer Press online: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_22223784/st-cloud-school-cancels-classes-flu-outbreak
Helen Harris, RN, MS
Assistant Professor, Nursing
School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership
Minnesota State University Moorhead