Target: Kris Ehresmann, Director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Minnesota Department of Health
Goal: Encourage communities in the state of Minnesota to practice better preventative health habits to combat the increasingly harmful flu season.
Minnesota has not seen widespread sickness such as this since the days of the swine flu. Despite many available healthcare options in place to combat the flu, it is spreading like wildfire within the state, and has been for the entirety of the season.
Reports indicate that a record number of children were found to have the flu in the past week at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in the state, with the number estimated at 123. Some hospitals are reporting that they are seeing more flu patients now than they did in 2009, when the swine flu illness was at its peak.
In south-central Minnesota, where the infections are most prevalent, regional healthcare leaders are attempting to combat this unfortunate trend. The Mayo Clinic Health System has already begun to institute measures to help keep these flu infections at bay. The number of visitors allowed by a patient has been lessened, as has the amount of visitors per visit. There will also be no visitors allowed who are sick themselves.
Statewide, though, people need to take action in order to keep the amount of infections down and keep the state from experiencing any more negative effects from this flu season. The state’s citizens need to be more heavily encouraged to get their flu shots and reminded to wash their hands after going to the bathroom or covering their mouths when sneezing. As one doctor pointed out in the linked report, it would also be beneficial if businesses temporarily did not require employees to bring in a provider’s note explaining their flu absence.
The state needs to take action to keep the flu from spreading out of control, and enforcing visitor restrictions is a good start to keep disease from spreading. However, it is only that: a start. More needs to happen soon to help keep this problem at bay. Sign the petition and call for action.
Your state is experiencing a harsh flu season; in some parts of your state, more people are being diagnosed with the flu now than when the swine flu was at its peak in 2009. This, obviously, is an unsettling trend that needs to be reversed.
The Minnesota Department of Health can start by further encouraging Minnesota citizens to practice good hygiene habits, such as washing hands multiple times after using the restroom or always covering the mouth when sneezing. Furthermore, it can encourage the state’s citizens to receive their flu shots, and could even go so far as to encourage businesses not to require a provider’s note when asking for a flu absence from work.
Currently, there are hospitals in south-central Minnesota that are beginning visitor restriction procedures to keep the flu from spreading in their communities. This is an example of something that could be done to help keep the flu at bay and possibly save lives in Minnesota over the next few months. Take action and help keep the flu from spreading and potentially causing devastating harm.
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