Updated: 01/10/2014 11:28 AM
Created: 01/10/2014 10:56 AM WDIO.com
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:
Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and treatment are needed, according to MDH.
TIF Plan Will Help Developers Build New Waterfront Hotel
A new hotel near Bayfront Park is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Duluth Economic Development Authority unanimously approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for the Pier B project.
Klobuchar Tours Chisholm Call Center That Is Adding Jobs
Dozens of new jobs will soon be coming to the Iron Range. The Delta Airlines Call Center is expanding in Chisholm and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar toured the facility Wednesday.
Groomers Busy Getting Lutsen Slopes Ready for Two More Weekends
While most ski slopes are closed for the season, Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort is still open for business. For the first time ever, they plan to be open into May. All their groomers are out moving all the spring snow to get the slopes ready for the next two weekends.
Little Falls Homeowner: 2 Teens Shot Were 'Vermin,' not Human
Sixty-five-year-old Byron Smith of Little Falls is on trial for first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. Smith claims he feared for his life and shot them in self-defense when they broke into his house on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
Walker Signs Bill Cracking Down on Synthetics in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Wednesday a measure designed to help crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs in the state.