The signs are indicating that another wave of novel H1N1 flu is already here, according to health officials.

The state Health Commissioner reported Wednesday that more than 30 school districts are reporting flu outbreaks. Federal health officials Wednesday called the flu "widespread" in Minnesota.

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Most current cases of flu are considered to be the novel H1N1 flu, originally called swine flu, according to health officials.

While Minnesota only is counting H1N1 flu cases (currently at 272 confirmed cases) that result in hospitalization, everything points to a growing flu outbreak across the state.

Thus, it is important that all citizens take these simple precautions. If you are sick, stay home. Do not pass your front door to go to work or school. As much as possible, avoid contact with ill persons. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve/elbow when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Throw used tissues in the trash. Do not share food, drink, or utensils. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly -- particularly after you cough or sneeze -- or use an alcohol-based gel. Taking these simple precautions can help you avoid getting the flu. Basic personal protection measures are the first line of defense against H1N1 flu.

West Central Tribune