First flu case a reminder to get vaccinated
Some residents may think it’s too early to worry, but public health officials warn locals should get their flu shots soon.
“Within the last month people have been getting vaccinated,” said Lisa Kocer, interim director of Mower County Public Health. “Definitely now is the time.”
Minnesota health officials have confirmed the season’s first influenza case in the state. It’s a 26-year-old woman from Olmsted County in southeastern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory confirmed the woman’s illness was caused by the A (H3) strain of the virus. That strain appears to be covered by this year’s vaccine.
Kocer said many groups in Mower County are giving flu vaccinations, from Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin to pharmacies across the county. Mower County Public Health has vaccinations for uninsured residents and children.
Health officials say anyone 6 months or older should be vaccinated this year, with an emphasis on the elderly, young children, pregnant women, black, Hispanic and Native American residents.
Because the flu shot takes a couple weeks to kick in, Kocer recommends residents get theirs soon.
“With this first (flu) case in Olmsted County, we know it’s in southern Minnesota,” she said. “It’s better to get your vaccine as soon as possible.”