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State health officials are tracking apparent upswing in flu activity across Minnesota


Sat, Sep 19th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

Officials at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are tracking what appears to be a significant increase in influenza-like illness across the state.

Based on reports of increased influenza-like illness in schools and at sentinel reporting sites, flu activity in Minnesota is now classified as "widespread," based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria.

"Widespread" is the highest classification in CDC's flu reporting system. It means that cases of influenza have been reported in at least half of the state's regions.

Over 30 schools in the state have now reported that they have significant influenza-like illness occurring. Minnesota schools have been asked to notify MDH whenever they experience absentee rates from flu-like illness that exceed five percent of total enrollment - or whenever three or more elementary school children in the same classroom are absent with flu symptoms.

MDH is also getting reports of increased flu-like illness activity from its system of sentinel clinics, which report increases in apparent flu activity to MDH.

Although not all of the influenza-like illness currently being reported is likely to be novel H1N1 flu, officials believe the new strain of flu that first appeared last spring is likely playing a significant role in the upsurge.

"Novel H1N1 has continued to cause illness in Minnesota all through the summer, and we have been anticipating a possible second wave of this illness. We strongly suspect that may be starting to happen now," said Dr. Sanne Magnan, Minnesota Commissioner of Health.

To date, 272 laboratory-confirmed cases of novel H1N1 have been confirmed in Minnesota. However, MDH has been testing only in cases where the patient died or required hospitalization.

Dr. Magnan stressed the importance of simple, "low-tech" prevention measures in protecting yourself against the flu.

"The first shipments of novel H1N1 vaccine won't arrive for a number of weeks," said Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota State Epidemiologist. "Right now, our first line of defense is the basic personal protection measures we have been emphasizing since last spring."

Those measures include covering your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or a tissue, frequent hand washing, and staying home if you're sick with flu-like illness. For most people, that means staying home from work or school and avoiding other locations where you could expose others to the flu - .....
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1,873 BUSTED DURING END-OF-SUMMER DWI CRACKDOWN

Tue, Sep 15th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL - An Aug. 21-Sept. 7 statewide DWI enforcement campaign resulted in 1,873 DWI arrests - more than 100 DWIs a day. The average alcohol-concentration of the DWI offenders was 0.16 - twice the legal limit of 0.08. Preliminary arrest totals were ..... 
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4 CHILD TRAFFIC DEATHS IN 2009 - NONE RESTRAINED

Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL - Preliminary 2009 crash facts from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reveal that none of four children under age 7 killed in crashes this year were properly restrained and seven of 10 children seriously injured were also not i ..... 
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Extra DWI Enforcement Continues through Labor Day; PUBLIC SAFETY, MNDOT STRESS ROAD SAFETY

Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL - Around 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies will continue an enhanced DWI crackdown through Labor Day weekend to limit alcohol-related deaths during the holiday weekend. During Labor Day weekends, 2006-2008, 11 people were killed - five ..... 
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Congressman Walz Announces Southern Minnesota Mobile Office Stops

Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

(Washington, DC) - Today, Congressman Tim Walz announced that he is dispatching his staff across southern Minnesota September 21-23 to hear from constituents regarding hot topics like health insurance reform and to assist individuals who are having p ..... 
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Statement by Congressman Tim Walz on President Obama's Speech

Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

(Washington, DC) - The following statement can be attributed to Congressman Tim Walz. Mr. Jeff Korsmo, Executive Director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center was Congressman Walz's guest at tonight's Joint Session of Congress.

"I'm pleased ..... 
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Health officials urge Minnesotans to learn more about the warning signs of suicide and how to prevent it

Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

Minnesota health officials urge Minnesotans to learn more about preventing suicide during national Suicide Prevention Week, September 6-12.

The extent of suicide in Minnesota is significant:

571 people died by suicide in Minnesota in 20 ..... 
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Minnesota Community Pride winners announced and honored on Labor Day weekend at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair

Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

Over 20 Minnesota communities, large and small, from across the state, took home top honors and over $15,000 in cash awards in the 25th Anniversary Minnesota Community Pride competition, announced at the Minnesota Community Pride Showcase and Awards ..... 
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State Fair Seeking Young Adults to Serve on Advisory Team

Mon, Aug 31st, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

St. Paul, MN - The Minnesota State Fair is now accepting applications for young adults who want to be part of the State Fair Advisory Team.

The 20-member team is a voice for younger Minnesotans that provides input on interests and trends among ..... 
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