Going to Super Bowl? Here's the Minnesota flu picture

Super Bowl organizers taking steps to reduce germ contact for NFL's big event
A million people could attend Super Bowl-related events, with 125,000 of them from outside Minnesota.

That's a lot of opportunity for transferring germs, especially the H3N2 flu virus which has knocked so many people flat.

Like Pa., N.J., & Delaware, Minnesota has 'widespread' flu activity, according to the CDC.

And, as you might expect, the biggest share of cases are in the metro Minneapolis area.

But visitors might face a little more exposure right now - statistics from the Minnesota Department of Health note that while flu outbreaks in traditional hot spots like nursing homes are down, those in schools are up sharply.

There were 111 school-based outbreaks last week, compared to 72 the week before.

Since kids in schools come and go into the community, they carry the virus to more people than do those sick from outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

Those can be isolated.

Also, while flu-related hospitalizations are down in Minnesota, cases coming to doctor's offices, urgent care, and community health clinics are up sharply.

According to the CDC, 1 in 15 doctor visits last week across country were for flu symptoms - the highest level since the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009.

Super Bowl visitors are urged to be vaccinated before coming, wash their hands with soap and water more frequently (hand sanitizer won't wipe out all norovirus), especially after being in crowded areas.

And AVOID TOUCHING THE EYES, NOSE, AND MOUTH.

That's how flu and norovirus germs invade the body.

Organizers of the Super Bowl Experience are working to cut the spread.

Volunteers with the United Way disinfect virtual reality equipment between each use at their booth.

Remember, with both flu and norovirus stomach bugs, you are infectious a day before symptoms show, and you remain infectious for several days after you feel better.

Anyone with underlying medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, or emphysema, should take extra care not to get sick, and get care immediately if you do become ill.
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