Rising Flu Tide Hits Some Roseville Schools
And state-wide, hospitalizations due to influenza have now topped more than 1,000 for the season, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Two schools in Roseville District 623 have had enough cases of students sick with influenza this week to report that information to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
That news comes as the Health Department released new data today showing that there have been more than 1,000 hospitalizations for influenza this season and now 27 confirmed deaths.
On Tuesday, "Emmet D. Williams Elementary met the threshold to report ILI (influenza-like-illness) to MDH in a third-grade grade classroom," according to a District 623 spokeswoman.
Also, Brimhall Elementary met the reporting threshold on Tuesday in a fourth-grade classroom, said Kathy Englund.
The state Health Department's notification requirement kicks in when flu-like symptoms are reported in at least 5 percent of the student body, or by at least three students in any single class. The following link outlines the notice requirements:
Meanwhile, the MDH reported today (Thursday) that new data shows the state "is experiencing a very severe flu season, with significant numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
"Although the number of hospitalizations reported rivals the 2009 pandemic, there is no evidence of a new influenza virus circulating and...the profile of the disease outbreak is very much in keeping with other very severe seasonal influenza years," health officials said in a press statement.
So far, Minnesota hospitals have reported 1,121 hospitalizations due to influenza-like illness. For the week ending Jan. 5 alone, there were 401 hospitalizations, similar to a peak week in the 2009-10 pandemic.
MDH said it also has confirmed a total so far of 27 deaths due to influenza or influenza-related complications. In addition, there were 28 outbreaks in long-term care facilities over the past week.
“We are clearly at a high level of influenza activity in the state,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger said in a statement. “But it’s important to keep this year in perspective: What is occurring has happened before. This is what influenza looks like, this is what it can do. That’s why we stress every year the importance of prevention measures, such as getting a flu shot, covering your cough, washing your hands and staying home if you are ill. We never know at the beginning of a flu season what it’s going to look like.”