Minnesota Influenza Cases at Historic Low
There’s been a sharp decrease in the number of flu cases this winter season. In fact, state health officials say Minnesota flu cases are at a historic low.
According to a report from MDH, last year at this time, there were about 250 hospitalizations for influenza. This year there’s been only one hospitalization.
Influenza is also attributed to just three deaths this year. Last season, 153 deaths were due to the flu.
MDH reports that cases dipped dramatically since restrictions have been put in place last March.
“All the measures used to control COVID-19 also helped control influenza,” said Karen Martin, MDH influenza surveillance coordinator. “Masking, you’re going to prevent large droplets from spraying and from people becoming infected that way. Gatherings of people in schools and workplaces, social distancing, all those help control COVID-19 but as well as other respiratory pathogens.”
Martin said there’s still hundreds of influenza tests each week, but there’s been a less than 1% positivity rate.
Health officials are still encouraging people to get the influenza vaccine even with minimal transmission.