Look out, Minnesota: Here comes the flu

If you were standing right in front of this man, you'd get sick -- probably to your stomach, at least.
If you were standing right in front of this man, you'd get sick -- probably to your stomach, at least.

If the dip in temperature wasn't enough to convince you that fall is upon us, prepare yourself for a week of feverish, achy, weak-kneed biological torture.

Yes, that's right. The flu is back.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed the first case of flu for the season yesterday, citing an individual woman who'd come down with a case.

According to MDH, the woman's strain would likely be covered by the flu vaccine that's already being offered in clinics. The department is urging pretty much every person over the age of six months to get the flu vaccine or nasal spray, unless you hate yourself and feel like you deserve some sort of punishment.

The first victim is a 26-year-old woman from Olmstead County, so, if you're in that area, try to avoid women in their 20s, which shouldn't be a problem if you really plan on going out wearing that shirt. The woman had no other underlying health problems, and was not hospitalized for her flu symptoms.

In its news release to announce officially kick-off the flu season, MDH says the flu season in Minnesota typically runs from October through April, with Kristen Ehresmann, the state's director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control, saying it'll probably only get worse.

"While influenza activity usually does not peak until later," Ehresmann said, "this first case tells us that influenza is beginning to circulate in our communities."

MDH has a pretty helpful locator tool to track down nearby vaccine clinics. For those of you who don't like strangers stabbing you, the less-invasive nasal spray inoculation is a viable option for people from 2 to 49 years old.

Or, as always, you could just declare yourself agoraphobic, quit your job, and begin life as a shut-in until MDH gives the all clear sometime around May Day.

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