November 8, 2007

Flu Season Begins

Minnesota recorded its first case of influenza for the season today, reported by the state Health Department.

A Dakota County, 44-year-old woman has the first case, which was caused by the B/Shanghai-like strain of the virus, the department said.

"The woman’s virus is a good match for this year’s vaccine," the department news release read.

The flu case has been confirmed historically to begin most often in late November or early December. "So now is a good time to get immunized," said Kristen Ehresmann, section chief for immunizations at Health Department.

Ehresmann said that shipments of vaccine from the providers seem to be arriving smoothly and on time for this years flu season.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health the are starting vaccines early after the death of six children and a firefighter from last year's flu season.

This year, manufacturers are expecting to produce more than 100 million doses of the vaccine.