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.
Hundreds of students at a middle school in Shakopee, Minn. have called out sick due to the flu, according to school officials.
More than 300 of the 1,165 students at West Middle School are absent due to “flu-like illnesses and/or symptoms,” according to an online statement from Shakopee Public Schools, the district where the middle school is located.
Officials reported the high number of absences to the Minnesota Department of Health. School districts in the state are required to do so when 5 percent of the student body is absent, according to the statement.
“As always, we encourage parents and guardians to keep their students home if they are exhibiting flu-related symptoms,” said Superintendent Mike Redmond in a statement. “We are taking the necessary precautions, and will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action, as needed.”
Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a new report said there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses this year and 23,000 hospitalizations. Some 1,300 people across the U.S. have died of the flu so far this year.
Most of the illnesses this year have been caused by the influenza B/ Victoria viruses, which the CDC said is “unusual for this time of year.” This strain is most commonly reported among children 4 years of age or younger, according to the report.