KEYC - Latest Flu Report: Every Part of State Affected by Flu

Latest Flu Report: Every Part of State Affected by Flu

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Influenza cases are now widespread across the state, according to the latest weekly flu report.

Minnesota Department of Health released a report showing 172 people hospitalized with influenza last week, which is 40 more than the prior week.

Mayo Clinic's Infectious Disease Physician Assistant Jessica Sheehy said the A-virus is the cause of the epidemic. 

"It seems that this year might be a little bit of a stronger influenza season than previous years, so make sure you go and get your flu shots," said Sheehy.

Sheehy said the flu shot is not as effective as they hoped it would be. "They are thinking that it will be about 32 percent effective against the influenza A– strain, which is the strain that we are seeing causing the current outbreak, " said Sheehy. 

 MDH Epidemiologist Karen Martin said the flu has not hit its peak number yet, but soon will. She hopes people will get their shots and remember flu season does not end when winter is over.

" In the next few weeks to a month, we're probably going to see peak activity, so sort of our higher numbers but that doesn't mean that flu is over at that point," said Martin. "In  fact we typically see cases of flu, all the way through may and sometimes beyond."

It is strongly advised that people take preventative measures such as, getting the flu shot, washing your hands and staying home when you are sick.

"If you're developing symptoms of the flu or something similar to it, call your primary care providers office and they can send you in a medication for influenza," said Sheehy. " It's best to be started within the first 48 hours but that doesn't mean that it still doesn't help if it's given after 48 hours." 

MDH said there is not any information on whether those hospitalized were vaccinated.