Get a Flu shot!

Second Minnesota teen dies of flu in 10 days; officials urge shots
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health on Tuesday again urged all Minnesotans to get flu shots to protect them from the virus, which has killed five people and hospitalized at least 600 in the state since October.

The girl, identified by her family's church and on Facebook memorial sites as Carly Christenson, a ninth-grader at St. Louis Park High School, was admitted to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve and died at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Kris Ehresmann, head of the infectious diseases and vaccine program at the state Health Department, said she could not confirm reports that the girl, who died of influenza Type A, had received a flu shot.

Ehresmann stressed that the relatively rare deaths of people who were vaccinated should not lead to the conclusion that the shots are pointless. The vaccine is considered 60 percent effective against the flu in healthy adults, she said.

It "is not 100 percent effective, so, sadly, it is possible to have a situation in which someone vaccinated develops influenza," Ehresmann said. "We still are recommending vaccination" for everyone, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

Carly's parents, Sean and Sandy Christenson, were in mourning Tuesday night and declined to speak to the media. Their church, Westwood Lutheran in St. Louis Park, said on its Facebook page that Carly's parents and her 12-year-old brother, Wyatt, were with her when she died. Candles will be lit and prayers said in her memory at the church's regular Wednesday evening service at 6:30 p.m. Her funeral was being planned for Saturday
Comment: Praying for the family! Sad story that tugs at my heart. Image snip from Star Tribune


  1. Shot Offers Moderate Protection Against Flu

    This season's flu shots are only moderately effective at combating the strains of the virus now circulating, according to government data released Friday, meaning some people will become ill even though they were vaccinated.

    The flu vaccine was estimated to be 62% effective in a one-month survey of 1,155 children and adults that ended Jan. 2, 2013, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings are in line with how effective the vaccine has been in previous years. Flu shots are recommended for everyone aged 6 months or older.


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