Influenza widespread, but slowingInfluenza continues to be widespread and highly active in Minnesota, but the pace of new infections appears to be slowing.
Influenza continues to be widespread and highly active in Minnesota, but the pace of new infections appears to be slowing.
For the week ending January 19 (week 3):
• 208 hospitalizations due to influenza-like illness (ILI) were reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), compared with 541 for week 2 and more than 600 for week 1, bringing the total so far this season to 2,128.
• MDH confirmed 15 deaths due to influenza or complications from influenza, bringing the total to 75.
• The MDH laboratory took in 554 ILI specimens for analysis, compared with more than 700 during week 2.
• There were nine outbreaks in long-term care facilities reported.
The exception to the decline in activity is in schools. MDH received reports of 112 outbreaks of ILI for week 3, an increase over the previous week, reflecting that school is back in session and some transmission is occurring.
The indicators of influenza activity MDH uses lag behind what is occurring in communities at the moment. Deaths, in particular, take time to be investigated and confirmed as influenza-related by MDH.
The vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths continue to occur among the elderly.
The symptoms of influenza, which tend to come on suddenly, can include a sore throat, coughing, fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. People who become severely ill with influenza-like symptoms should see a physician.
For more information, visit www.mdhflu.com.