Minnesota flu outbreak rivals deadly pandemic of 2009

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER and ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: January 10, 2013 - 8:22 AM

Demand for flu shots on the rise since reports of teen deaths

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keaton12Jan. 9, 13 9:45 PM

People need to stay home when they are sick. Granted, that is not always possible but then really, really, get a flu shot, take care of yourself and don't burn the candle at both ends. So many people I know don't get a flu shot because "they always get sick from it". You can't get the flu from the shot but you can get it from a missed time frame of when you get it. Ever since I focused on my health and don't get into the frenzy of the world and being perfect all of the time, I haven't gotten sick.

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tria56Jan. 9, 1310:15 PM

Given that this outbreak seems to be taking hold across the country, it makes me wonder if despite the 'close strain match' that the flu vaccine this year is less effective than previous years? We now know that a tweak that was made to the whooping cough vaccine a number of years ago has made it less effective. I wonder if a similar adjustment was made to this year's flu vaccine?

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kohoutekJan. 9, 1310:23 PM

And sleep, people! Get plenty of sleep! For the first time, we stayed home on New Year's, made homemade lasagna, drank wine and zonked out in front of Netflix. it was heavenly. Who needs the aggravation?

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weenurJan. 9, 1310:34 PM

Aggravating reporting! There is SO much confusion by many people about influenza vs. "stomach flu" (gastrointestinal - norovirus), which is not influenza at all. By quoting the ninth grader: "Throwing up is gross" and then not clarifying that throwing up is not a primary symptom of influenza, the reporters perpetuate that confusion!

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bosshogJan. 10, 1312:37 AM

I see they no longer even bother to mention how many of these people had the flu vaccine and got the flu anyways. Why not admit it, the vaccine this year is nearly worthless. But we don't want to mention that because the drug companies will lose millions if people stop getting it (remember, health care in the USA is FOR PROFIT!) . And for the people who like to blame the unvaccinated for spreading it, that's like a company selling "unbreakable glass" with the fine print stating: "as long as you don't hit it"...or in vaccine terms: "you can't get the flu if your vaccinated, unless you are exposed to it".

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oimmigrationJan. 10, 13 1:28 AM

No need to panic. I just had the flu and it was no worse than a bad cold. It was no big deal and Im pretty much over it now. I've never had a flu shot and I don't intend to get one now. But yes, do us all a favor, if you are sick stay home and don't spread your germs to others. Thanks.

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keaton12Jan. 10, 13 5:50 AM

BossHog. If you are exposed to the flu and THEN decide to get the flu shot, there is a good chance you will get the flu because your body does not have a chance to protect itself. A flu shot might be $20. My employer provided it onsite early this fall so it did not cost me anything out of my pocket. An ER visit is $2000+ and a day in the hospital is $5000+. Urgent Care is about $200 visit. You do the math. Many people at work who did not get the flu shot are sick. Those who got the shot did not. Kudos to my employer who provided it onsite, early in the season! Our productivity is up, our insurance costs are down and our premiums will probably stay the same!

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mjohnson2469Jan. 10, 13 7:56 AM

While some people are heading to work ill, keep in mind that no amount of Paid Time Off or money you make will be worth it if you infect someone else and this flu strain ends in hospitalization or even death. My employer has a firm policy on coming to work sick, it's posted on every TV billboard at every site: "COMING TO WORK SICK IS BAD FOR BUSINESS! If you're sick, stay home!" To answer one comment above, someone asked if the influenza vaccination is less effective. The straight answers is No. As we have overused antibiotics for everything, flu and other viruses have mutated to become less responsive to them, but the flu shot still is injecting you with a sample of the 3 most common viruses. In many cases this protects 90% of those who get them. Those who still get sick after getting vaccinated are typically infected by another strain of influenza, or a common string that has mutated slightly. The general rule of thumbs is to protect yourself by washing your hands often, and protect others by covering your cough (Cough in to your ELBOW not your hands), and avoid contact (especially with the very young, and the elderly) when you are sick. Plus, it's your valid excuse to stay home, wrap yourself up, and be lazy for several days.

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jackpinesavJan. 10, 13 8:20 AM

Common sense prevention is the big weakness in american health care. People procrastinate, and then wonder why they have an illness. Flu shots are inexpensive and work for vast majority. Other end of this continum is that overweight, non-exercising, smoking and heavy drinking folks then develop problems and demand expensive treatment options, that all of us pay for.

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mspshadowJan. 10, 13 8:40 AM

keaton12: "People need to stay home when they are sick."...How true! Employers who don't offer paid sick days need to loosen their policies. Forcing people to work when they're sick only spreads the flu to co-workers.

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