January 27, 2023
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Flu, COVID-19 and RSV cases have skyrocketed in Minnesota since the Thanksgiving holiday, Minnesota Department of Health experts said in a call to reporters Tuesday.

Data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that the proportion of people visiting clinics with flu-like symptoms increased earlier this year. Regarding COVID-19, data of the Metropolitan Council show how virus particles in sewage slowly rise over several weeks. And as any parent with young children will tell you, RSV—a respiratory virus that is more severe in young children—is spreading everywhere.

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Source: MDH

The surge in these respiratory illnesses has led to a shortage of hospital beds, a nationwide shortage of flu antivirals, and hundreds of outbreaks in schools and nursing centers.

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MDH data shows that available hospital beds in adult and pediatric intensive care units are declining, especially in some areas of the state.

vacancies last week

Adult ICU bed availability by region last week. Source: MDH

MDH urged Minnesotans to do everything they can on an individual level to prevent the spread of these diseases before and during the holidays.

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This includes keeping vaccines up to date.

“This is another reminder, as we head into the December holiday season, how important it is to upgrade protection before gathering with loved ones. The updated bivalent booster, now available to Minnesotans 6 months of age and older, is important because it restores protection that may have been weakened and provides the best protection we have against currently circulating options,” the state epidemiologist said. Dr. Ruth Linfield on MDH. . Less than 20% of Minnesotans are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, according to MDH.

“The main thing is to do it now. To allow time for immunity to build up before the holidays are in full swing,” Linfield said.

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Here’s what the Minnesota Department of Health recommends for staying safe this holiday season:

  • Stay up to date on vaccines (bivalent COVID vaccine, flu vaccine)
  • Consider wearing a well fitting high quality mask in public areas (N-95, KN-95).
  • Stay at home and avoid close contact with others when you are sick
  • Get your free COVID tests at home from Minnesota
  • Avoid sharing cups or utensils if you have symptoms
  • Limit your time in crowded indoor spaces
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often with soap for 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Eat Healthy Foods for Strong Immunity
  • Take steps to ventilate your home and workplace.

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