Got the Flu? Stay Home

Updated: 01/10/2014 11:28 AM
Created: 01/10/2014 10:56 AM
By: Brittany Falkers

This year's flu season is widespread across much of the county, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just last week the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) declared the flu to be widespread in the state.

Dr. Andrew Thompson is an infection disease physician at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth. He says it may be too early to tell if this year's flu season will be worse than others here in the Northland, but St. Luke's is asking those with the illness to stay home.

"Stay home. Avoid contact with other people as much as you can to keep from spreading your illness to others," Thompson said.

St. Luke's hasn't changed any policies. They always ask that anyone who is ill with a fever or respirator illness not visit patients in the hospital. However, with the flu season entering full force it's becoming more important to prevent the spread.

Most people are sick with the flu for three to five days and get better on their own, according to MDH. People without high-risk conditions who aren't very sick don't necessarily need medical help.

There are things you can do to help fight off the flu and prevent the spread. For those who are not at high risk, Dr. Thompson suggest you should stay home. Rest and drink lots of fluids. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wash hands often. Take medications to reduce fever if necessary and call you health care provider if you or a family member has a symptom you are concerned about, such as a very high fever, according to MDH.

Extra rest and fluids may work for most, but there are many people who are at high-risk of getting very ill from the flu. Dr. Thompson says those people should call their health care providers as soon as flu symptoms develop.

How do you know if you're high-risk? If you are part of any of these groups, you may be vulnerable to sever illness from the flu:

  • Pregnant or women who delivered within the last two weeks
  • Children under two-years-old
  • People with neurologic or neuromuscular disorder
  • People with asthma or chronic lung disease, such as COPD or cystic fibrosis
  • Those with heart disease (except high blood pressure)
  • People with liver or kidney disease
  • A blood disorder (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Metabolic or endocrine disorders (such as diabetes)
  • Severely obese
  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medications (including HIV/AIDS, cancer chemotherapy, long term steroids, or anti-rejection drugs for transplants)
  • People 65 and older
  • Is American Indian and Alaska Native

Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and treatment are needed, according to MDH.

Front Page

  • Woman Hospitalized after Armed Standoff with Deputies in Douglas County

    A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. 

  • City of Tower Starts Dredging on Multi-Million-Dollar Harbor Project

    The City of Tower is starting a new phase of an old dream. Back in June, WDIO's sister station KSTP reported that Tower's multi-million-dollar Harbor Renaissance Project hadn't gone anywhere in seven years. But Wednesday, the City said they're moving forward.

  • Minnesota Food Charter Launched at DECC

    Around five hundred people flocked to the DECC for the Minnesota Statewide Food Access Summit. One of the big events? The launch of the of the Minnesota Food Charter. Only four other states have a food charter, but Food Charter Steering Committee Chair Mindy Kurzer said number five is unique.

  • Bong Bridge to Reopen Friday

    The Duluth-bound lanes of the Richard I. Bong Bridge are expected to reopen Friday morning after a summer of construction.  Superior-bound lanes have remained open this year but will be closed next year.

  • TV Campaign Ads Make Wealth an Issue in Minn. Election

    It seems an hour doesn't go by without several television campaign ads criticizing a candidate for having millions of dollars or trying to line his or her pockets at government expense. Class warfare is nothing new in politics, but it certainly is more pronounced in Minnesota this year because of two Republican candidates: Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden. They've been the target of a barrage of attack ads aimed at their personal wealth and how they accumulated it.


Lake Effect Snow Advisory

Expires: 10/31/2014 11:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Ontonagon; Southern Houghton
Expires: 10/31/2014 12:00 PM

Lakeshore Flood Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Alger; Baraga; Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Marquette; Ontonagon
Expires: 10/31/2014 2:00 PM