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Deadly flu season around the corner

Posted On Fri, October 22, 2010

The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed that a woman in her 80s has passed away from the flu. The complications the elderly woman experienced serve as a reminder of the importance of having life insurance and getting vaccinated.

MDH says the woman died from the A/H3 strain of the virus, which has been tied to a recent outbreak of the flu in several long-term care properties.

MDH state epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield says this could be a particularly bad flu season.

"This may be a difficult year in terms of severe influenza infections in the elderly," says Lynfield. "In years when there has been primarily H3 influenza A circulating, we've seen higher rates of serious illness, particularly in the elderly."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's particularly important for the elderly to receive the flu vaccine. They say that 90 percent of deaths and 60 percent of hospitalizations from the flu affect people over the age of 65.

It's advisable that people be careful and always cover their coughs and wash their hands to help prevent the spread of germs.

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