Minnesota is in the midst of a major surge of flu cases and, unfortunately, a handful of them have proved fatal.
Carly Christenson, a 14-year-old St. Louis Park teen who became stricken with Influenza A on Christmas Eve, died Tuesday after the two-week long battle. She was the fifth person to die from flu-related complications in Minnesota this flu season.
Since the start of the flu season this year, nearly 600 people have been hospitalized for laboratory-confirmed flu, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Minnesota Public Radio recently reported on the uptick in hospitalizations, quoting state epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield as saying: "It certainly is a very vigorous influenza year."
While most of the people hospitalized were 65 and older, Lynfield said young, healthy people are also at risk for developing serious conditions during or shortly after having influenza.
In addition, some reports indicate Christenson had in fact received a flu shot this season. Health officials said the current vaccine is well-matched to the circulating strains, but the vaccine is not 100 percent effective for everyone who gets it. However, officials said the vaccine is still the best defense against the flu.
For more on Christenson, visit St. Louis Park Patch.
Health officials say it is not to late to get the vaccine. If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some places in and near Richfield that offer the vaccine:
Allina Medical Clinic—Woodlake
HCMC Richfield Clinic
- 12 W 66th St., Minneapolis
- 7845 Portland Ave. S., Bloomington
- 7940 Penn Ave. S., Bloomington
- 6975 York Ave. S., Edina
- 5415 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
- 12 W 66th St., Richfield
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information:
- Who should get vaccinated
- When to get vaccinated
- Selecting a flu vaccine
- Symptoms, complications and severity
- Treatment if you get the flu
- How flu spreads
If you know of another place where people can get the flu vaccine, tell us in the comments.