Skip to main content

Number of Minnesota schools with flu outbreaks surges; 2nd child death reported

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The number of Minnesota schools reporting flu outbreaks jumped from 19 to 203 in a week, according to the Health Department.

The surge was reported in the department's latest weekly tabulation of flu statistics.

Meanwhile, the state also confirmed the second case of a child dying from the flu, Northland's News Center reports. Officials did not release details about the death but said the patient was younger than 18.

MPR News says the type of flu that's been circulating in Minnesota this season is especially hard on young children and elderly patients. MPR visited Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, which has seen more than 400 visits to its emergency department every day for two weeks – a record that doubles the usual number, the hospital says.

The virus has also been spreading through the staff at Children's, officials tell MPR, causing the hospital to rely more on floating nursing teams and visiting nurses.

A spokesman for Mayo Clinic tells the Star Tribune they've already seen more flu patients than they did in the entire flu season a year ago.

A Health Department official says in the Pioneer Press the jump in the number of schools reporting outbreaks hasn't been seen since the flu pandemic of 2009.

The Pioneer Press also reports that more hospitals are restricting their visiting policies to help limit the spread of the virus. Health East is requiring that masks be worn by all visitors at the four hospitals it operates and is prohibiting visitors younger than 5.

So, what can you do about the flu? Even though the vaccine in this year's flu shots is not a perfect match for the particular strain most prevalent this winter, doctors say a shot still provides some of your best protection.

Dr. Johan Bakken of St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth tells Northland's News Center those who come down with the flu will have a milder case if they've been vaccinated.

WCCO reports a flu-fighting prescription drug called Tamiflu has become hard to find in some areas. The station says some wholesalers are rationing the drug to ensure it lasts through the entire flu season. As a result, some patients may need to visit two or three pharmacies to find one that has Tamiflu in stock.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

freight train railroad tracks

Man crawls to safety before train hits his stuck wheelchair

The incident happened Tuesday on Highway 169.

US Bank Stadium

Sizing up Vikings coaching candidates we know about so far

A closer look at some of the head coaching candidates interviewed by the Vikings

St. Paul police

St. Paul: Man called police to report he killed his wife

Police are also investigating a separate fatal shooting in the Frogtown neighborhood.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.

Related