As others see it: Use care during flu seasonMedical facilities in west central Minnesota and across the state have seen a spike in flu cases over the holidays. The result is a high patient volume in emergency rooms and urgent care centers across Minnesota.
By: West Central Tribune, Worthington Daily Globe
Medical facilities in west central Minnesota and across the state have seen a spike in flu cases over the holidays. The result is a high patient volume in emergency rooms and urgent care centers across Minnesota.
The biggest concern is that the flu has hit harder and earlier than health providers have seen in recent years. The flu rates statewide began spiking in early December. Since Dec. 22, the flu case load has continued unabated at clinics and emergency rooms, according to Minnesota Department of Health officials.
There is some concern that this flu season may reach the levels of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic scare, when more than 1,800 people were hospitalized during a 12-month period. Since the October start of the flu season, nearly 300 people have been hospitalized, according to state health officials.
Health officials believe the best insurance against flu is for individuals to get a current flu vaccine. The protection rate of the vaccine is about 60 percent, while those without vaccine have zero protection.
The best option for many is to remain at home, get rest and use over-the-counter medication to combat their symptoms.
Families should use caution around individuals in critical categories, especially young children and the elderly. Flu can be a deadly sickness, so caution is in order.
The January reality is that our region and the state are in the midst of the flu season with cases rising at a fast rate. The flu cases are likely going to get worse before we start seeing improvement.