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.
Dept. of Health Warns of E. Coli Levels at Lake Superior Beaches
With warmer temperatures, more people are hitting the water. Swimmers may still be wary of the cool water of Lake Superior, but there's something else swimmers should be aware of and you can't see it - it's E. coli.
Wisconsin's 74th Assembly Seat Debate Hits on Mining Issues
Mining was a hot issue during the debate for Wisconsin's 74th Assembly seat Wednesday night. Two democrats are vying for Rep. Janet Bewley's open seat.
Scannell Case in Jury's Hands, No Verdict Thursday
The case against Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell is now in the hands of a jury after closing arguments took place Thursday afternoon. The jury began deliberations at just after 5 p.m. and they adjourned for the night just after 8 p.m.
Wisconsin Makes Minnesota Offer on Tax Reciprocity
The neighboring states have been unable to reach a deal since a 40-year agreement expired in 2009. An agreement would simplify income taxes for the roughly 80,000 who live in one state and work in the other.
Minn. DNR Increases Target Wolf Harvest
The Minnesota DNR is increasing the target harvest for this fall's wolf hunt from 250 to 280. The DNR says the latest population survey estimates that there were 2,423 wolves living in Minnesota this past winter, which is 212 more animals than estimated the previous winter.