Health officials are encouraging anyone over the age of 6 months to gain a flu shoot this year.

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Flu season has officially begun in Minnesota, but unlike previous year this flu season is coinciding with a surging in COVID-19 cases. 

The Minnesota department of health (MDH) ~ above Thursday released its first Weekly Influenza and Respiratory Illness activity Report of the season, ending for the week of Oct. 17, which claims there have been 2 hospitalizations (one in central Minnesota and one in the metro) and also one institution outbreak concerned influenza come date. 


In the entire 2019-2020 influenza season in Minnesota, 4,022 people were hospitalized through lab-confirmed influenza, 197 influenza-associated deaths were reported, three pediatric influenza-related deaths to be confirmed, 109 outbreaks of influenza were reported in long-term care facilities and 921 outbreaks that influenza-like disease were reported in schools.

In comparison, COVID-19 has eliminated 2,301 people and also has sent out 9,226 human being to the hospital (2,485 hospitalized in the ICU) in Minnesota because March.


As the is quite early on in the flu season, influenza task in Minnesota and nationally continues to be low, follow to the Centers for condition Control and Prevention (CDC), which also tracks influenza. 


It's unsure what the influenza season will certainly be choose this year, yet the CDC and other public health and wellness officials think it's likely the flu and also COVID-19 – both top respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms – will be spreading this fall and also winter. Health officials likewise say the it's possible to get the flu and also COVID-19 in ~ the exact same time, back it's unsure how common this is.

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With the flu circulating as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging, it might overwhelm the health care system. MDH's website states thousands that Minnesotans are hospitalized annually with the flu, but since hospitals are currently busy treating people with COVID-19, people need to take it extra treatment to prevent the spread of both illnesses. 

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The CDC recommends everyone who is 6 months and older acquire a flu vaccine by the finish of October, which can help protect versus influenza. 

Other steps civilization can take it – such as staying house when you're sick, spanning your cough, washing your hands, cleaning typically touched surfaces, put on a mask and staying 6 feet from rather – will help prevent the spread of the flu and also COVID-19. MDH says.

The CDC said there's already evidence that community mitigation measures can aid reduce the spread of the flu as confirmed in the southern hemisphere, noting that if world follow these guidelines and also get the flu shooting it could "substantially reduce" influenza cases this year and also inform public health and wellness practices because that years to pertained to prevent the spread out of the flu.