Minnesota sees first flu death of season: health officials

Henrietta Brewer
November 1, 2019

Two people have died from the flu so far this year, 362 cases have been reported since the start of the 2019-20 flu season, and 30 flu cases were confirmed by labs, according to county officials.

City pharmacies and other health care providers are now offering vaccinations against the flu for the general public.

Parental permission is required for students who are 18 and younger to receive their flu shot. "It's important that those around people in those high-risk groups get a flu vaccine as well". Flu usually comes on suddenly.

"That's actually one of the main reasons to get [the flu shot]" Jennifer Hanrahan, MD, chief of the division of infectious diseases at The University of Toledo Medical Center, tells Health.

Waterloo Region Public Health says that a year ago there were three flu-related deaths in the region, but the season before that saw 17.

"The flu vaccine is still the best protection we have against influenza and anyone who hasn't had their flu shot yet should do so as soon as possible", said Dr. Amy Person, health officer for Benton and Franklin counties. Its composition was determined by the World Health Organization using local and global data, historical data and observations of how recent flu strains have been changing, Toumishey said.

Throughout your life, you've probably heard two main things about the flu shot: That you should get it every single year, and that, even if you do get it, it might not completely protect you from the flu.

"For newborns and infants, the best protection strategy is to encourage everyone who is around the infant to get the flu vaccine", Richards says.

Most flu vaccines now administered in the United States protect against four different flu viruses: Quadrivalent, also known as influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, as well as two influenza B viruses. "The more people that get vaccinated, the less likely a severe influenza epidemic becomes".

To help stop the spread of flu, people are advised to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and to wash their hands regularly.

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