The flu season normally starts towards the end of the fall, but seasonal influenza is reportedly starting much earlier this year. Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez sits down with a Harvard Medical School doctor to discuss everything you need to know about this year’s flu season.
A Minnesota resident has died of the flu, marking the first such fatality in the state this season.
The Minnesota Department of Health included the one death in its Weekly Influenza and Respiratory Illness Activity Report released on Thursday. The fatality occurred in a previous reporting week that ended Oct. 26, but was first announced in this week’s report.
No other details were released, though health officials did note that the death was not pediatric.
The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that impacts the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though most people recover and only become mildly ill, the flu can kill.
Health professionals recommend that everyone receive the flu vaccine. But they especially encourage pregnant women, young children and the elderly to get the shot, as they are often the most susceptible to the virus.
“The flu shot is incredibly important because it reduces your risk of contracting the flu,” Michelle Lin, an emergency room doctor, and professor of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, previously told Fox News. “It also reduces your risk for complications and passing it to other people.”
The news comes after a 4-year-old child in New York died of the flu in October.