Sickening: Flu Hits Hard Woodbury

Founder of Woodbury's Urgency Room says cases have been “through the roof.”


DelMonico Dance studio was closed Thursday, according to a note on its Facebook page.

The reason? The flu.

Due to having a huge number of absences because of children sick with the flu, we have decided to take this evening to disinfect the studio. We plan to be open for Friday classes. If your child has flu-like symptoms, please keep them home until they are well. We hope everyone can enjoy the night off to rest and care for your sick little ones.

Since the start of the flu season, 578 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza, according to the state Department of Public Health. The MDH on Thursday reported 27 deaths in the state, including 23 that officials have been able to confirm as flu-related since Dec. 30.


The Urgency Rooms in Eagan and Woodbury have experienced a substantial rise in flu patients over the last two weeks, according to Urgency Room founder and owner Dr. Gary Gosewisch.

The flow of flu patients has been so heavy that Gosewisch increased staffing levels by 35 percent at the Woodbury facility to help manage the extra patients.

“They’re through the roof, and I mean that in all sincerity," Gosewisch said.

The Basics

Good hand washing is the No. 1 thing people can do to prevent the flu, according to Anthony Nardi, MD, physician services medical director with HealthEast. And for those who get it, rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking ibuprofen or Tylenol is the best treatment. The flu can last more than 72 hours in some cases, he said.

Nardi does not recommend people go to the ER.

“There’s really not much we can do for them,” he said, adding that going to the hospital also brings with it the chance to make others ill.

Flu Shots

Flu shots are available the following locations in Woodbury:

  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Walgreens
  • Target Pharmacy

People can also search for places via this federal government website.

CDC Info

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information:


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Joel January 10, 2013 at 08:08 PM
A physician recommending not to go to the E.R. is an irresponsible blanket statement. Each year and average of 36,000 people die because of influenza related complications, many because they were severely dehydrated from staying home and not seeking medical treatment. Every patient admitted to a hospital has the chance to make another person ill. Maybe Healtheast should instead focus on preventing healthcare associated infetions rather than recommending influenza patients should not be evaluated by a medical professional.
D Paul January 10, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Patients with influenza complications aren't necessarily dying from dehydration. Influenza is a respiratory illness. Gastrointestinal symptoms aren't the norm.
Joel January 10, 2013 at 09:32 PM
I agree they are not dying from dehydration. For an elderly influenza patient who lives alone and hasn't managed to properly hydrate themselves due to influenza (fever, respiratory illness, malaise) could certainly exacerbate other comorbid conditions while staying at home. I just don't think this is a good message to send to the general public. Some people who need to be seen will feel they should stay home. Remember patients with chronic heart and respiratory disease, elderly and pediatric patients are associated with higher influenza-atributed mortality. A one-size-fits-all statement could be a barrier for them to receive care.
Kris Janisch January 10, 2013 at 09:45 PM
The MDH is holding a phoner press conference right now. Sounds like the updated death toll is going to push past 20. We've got a Patcher on the call.
vicky January 10, 2013 at 11:45 PM
I missed my flu shot and ended up home 7 straight days around xmas with the flu. I was told to stay home. The pain and fever were nearly unbearable, I can't remember ever being that sick. My sister began symptoms too and immedtetly went in. She was treated with tamiflu, vicoden and zofran for naseua. In the meantime I fell into dehydration, even after my best attempts not to, but still, stayed home. My Dr never offered me anything. My sister was back to work 2 days later. I get staying home, but seeing all the help she got by going in and getting seen was a really hard pill to swallow.
Lana Huelsmann January 11, 2013 at 01:11 AM
I can understand your concern by suggesting people just stay home, some could benefit from Tamiflu but I agree with Dr. Nardi, you shouldn't go to the ER for the flu. Go to your regular MD but stay out of the ER. Emergency rooms are for emergencies and should not be used to treat these types of illnesses unless it is truly warranted. People these days misuse ER's way too much and tend to confuse ER docs with their regular family practitioner.
D Paul January 11, 2013 at 01:42 AM
It's important to understand the role of Tamiflu. It is not and shouldn't be used for everyone with influenza. The CDC has very clear guidelines for Tamiflu use. Only patients who are high risk should be getting it.
Joel January 11, 2013 at 02:48 AM
I am guessing that most of the patients currently hospitalized from influenza complications presented through the E.R. Severe respiratory distress is a medical emergency. Granted this is only a very small percentage of total influenza cases. My son was looking peakish and had a high fever starting Christmas Eve this year. After having his condition deteriorate we took him to the E.R. His oxygen saturation at times was only 60%. He had to be intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. He has no prior health conditions. We caught this just in time and the physicians said there was a very real risk of death. Not kidding! How many people currently admitted would be dead if they stayed at home? I understand this happens in a very small percentage of influenza cases, but general statements about everybody staying home is irresponsible. Most of us can properly assess the condition of ourselves or our children to determine if it is a medical emergency and stay home if it isn't. There are people without the common sense who will only hear "stay home" no matter what.
Joel January 11, 2013 at 03:13 AM
By the way, I completely agree with E.R. overuse and its inappropriate replacement for primary care issues. It is a huge problem. I just disagree with generalizations about people who have influenza and show up at the E.R. It is insulting to the 500 or so hospitalized influenza patients who likely presented to the E.R.
Lana Huelsmann January 11, 2013 at 05:45 AM
Joel, as I stated, stay out of the ER "UNLESS warranted". Obviously in some cases it is, however, in the vast majority of those infected, it's not.
Joel January 11, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Lana, I know that is what you said, but that is not what the article said. "Nadir does not recommend people go to the E.R...there is not much we can do for them." Some people will take statements like these verbatim and not get help when they need help. It is a balancing act to avoid filling the E.R. will all influenza patients. I simply wanted to inform anyone reading this article that there are severe cases where you should be seen and to not feel guilty for the "chance to make others ill." That's all.
Kris Janisch January 11, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Got this post updated: The MDH on Thursday reported 27 deaths in the state, including 23 that officials have been able to confirm as flu-related since Dec. 30.
Kris Janisch January 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM
South Washington County Schools also recently posted flu info on its website: http://www.sowashco.k12.mn.us/HotTopics/Flu/


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