Number of Minnesotans with the flu on the rise - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Number of Minnesotans with the flu on the rise

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- We often associate winter with getting sick, but this winter season the numbers are going off the charts.

The number of people getting the flu in Olmsted County is almost three times higher than normal

The influenza virus is something you can catch at any point in the year, but the number of cases always spike during the winter months, and there is a scientific reason for that.

According to the latest research, the virus is more stable and stays in the air longer when there is cold and dry air. In fact, the term influenza has Italian roots, coming from the mid-18th Century from the term influenza di freddo, or "influence of the cold."

In the month of December, Olmsted Medical Center says that 96 people checked in with influenza-like symptoms. That averages out to about 5 people per day checking into one of their facilities with the flu.

Mayo Clinic is also reporting an increase in flu cases at all of their locations.

If you think you may have the flu, there are some things you can do to help yourself.

The best recommendations are to stay home, rest and drink lots of fluids and don't worry about antibiotics because that won't help with the flu. It is caused by a virus, not bacteria.

The big way to prevent the flu in the future is to get the flu shot and to wash your hands and commonly touched surfaces.

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