The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Weekly Influenza and Respiratory Illness Activity Report for the week ending in Nov. 5 showed a serious uptick in the number of outbreaks of influenza-like illness (ILI) reported in schools.
The report indicated 97 new outbreaks in schools across Minnesota, compared with 15 outbreaks the week before. K-12 schools report an outbreak of ILI when the number of students absent with ILI reaches 5 percent of total enrollment or three or more students with ILI are absent from the same elementary classroom.
Flu season seems to have descended on Minnesota earlier than in years past, with this most recent data indicating this is the earliest spike in school outbreaks in at least five years.
Pediatricians know the flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect children ages 6 months and older during flu season. You can share that knowledge with your patients via social media using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toolkit (available in English and Spanish).