MINNEAPOLIS — The new Minnesota flu report shows outbreaks at schools are on the rise for the second week in a row.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), 30 schools reported outbreaks last week, up from 12 the week before.
An outbreak is reported to the state whenever 5 percent or more of a school’s student body gets the flu, or at least three kids in one classroom get it.
The report comes after one Minnesota school closed because 20 percent of its students came down with the flu.
"We've had several cases of influenza A," Wabasso School Superintendent Wade McKittrick said during a recorded video on Facebook Wednesday night.
That video was sent out to parents after the district discovered one in five students had the flu.
“We have 74 students and nine staff members who are sick,” McKittrick says.
Allina Health Infectious Disease Specialist Frank Rhame says kids are being hit the hardest this flu season.
Probably because the most active strain so far has been H1N1, which he says is more likely to affect kids than seniors.
"The season is ramping up. It's still not quite peaked yet and of course influenza, it's not anything if it's not unpredictable, you don't know where it's going to go," Rhame says.
It’s rare for a school district to cancel classes due to a flu outbreak, Rhame says.
MDH sees an average of one or two a year, and mostly in small rural districts.
"The agency doesn’t typically recommend them because usually by the time it's widespread in the school it's also widespread in the community, so it doesn’t accomplish much," Rhame says.
However, Rhame says school closures may be a district’s best option if too many staff members are sick with the flu.
"It's a tough virus. It gets around really fast," Rhame says.
Doctors say there's still time to get a flu shot.
Health experts believe this year’s vaccine is looking to be more effective than in years past.
The latest Minnesota flu report shows 31 new hospitalizations last week.
During the same week last year there were nearly 600.