ROCHESTER, Minn. – After an extra dangerous and deadly flu season last year, new numbers from the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention show Iowa and Minnesota are seeing low flu activity this season.
Libby Schmidt, MPH, is a Disease Control Specialist with Olmsted County Public Health. She said we’re seeing a milder strain of influenza, which could help explain the low numbers. But in the past week, she’s been getting more calls from schools and daycares of flu activity, showing we’re not in the clear just yet.
“So, it seems to be maybe on that up-rise, getting to the peak in those last couple of weeks,” she said. “We're not out of the woods yet, so it's still really important to stay home when you're sick.”
As the peak of the season may still be ahead, Schmidt wants people to take the illness seriously.
“Every year we see hospitalizations and we see deaths,” she said. “It's similar to the cold and people can of ride it off, but I think it's something we should always be aware of and make sure we're taking precautions.”
Some of these precautions are washing hands, coughing in elbows, and of course, staying home when having the symptoms.
Schmidt said one of the best ways to fight the flu is to get the vaccination. She said it’s never too late to get, but to keep in mind it takes two weeks to start working.
To learn more of the latest on the flu season in Minnesota and Iowa, click here.
To learn more ways to protect against the flu, click here.