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.
UMD Football Players Suspended, Scholarships Lost for Alleged Underage Drinking Incident
UMD's head football coach shares more about the consequences from the recent underage drinking citations for about 25 of his players.
Driver Suffers Substantial Burns in Truck Explosion
A truck driver suffered substantial burns after an equipment malfunction caused an explosion in his vehicle Tuesday. Duluth fire officials said the truck was carrying waste oil when a pump backfired, igniting the vapors inside. The driver's condition is unknown.
Leaders, Fans Celebrate Wade Stadium Renovations
With a row of gold-painted shovels, a fresh start for an old favorite. Construction is underway at Wade Stadium in Duluth. There was a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday with city and state leaders.
Superior Councilors Award $1.98M Construction Contract for Animal Shelter
Superior City Councilors unanimously approved just shy of $2 million dollars for construction of a new animal shelter building on Tuesday.
New Stop Sign Gives Kids Safer Walk to Myers-Wilkins
City officials hope a new stop sign on Ninth Street and Eighth Avenue East will make the walk to school safer for students at Myers-Wilkins Elementary. The sign was put in largely at the request of the Duluth Police Department, and school personnel and parents.