Flu Impact Subsiding in Minnesota

MN Department of Health counted 15 deaths last week. But the number of people hospitalized with flu-like symptoms has fallen dramatically.

Influenza killed 15 more Minnesotans last week, bringing the total number of state deaths in the current outbreak to 75—more than the total number of state residents killed during the last big outbreak during 2009-10.

But the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) weekly flu update, released Thursday afternoon, also contained good news: Only 208 people across the state were newly hospitalized last week with laboratory-confirmed influenza, a big drop from the 476 hospitalized the previous week.

Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz told WCCO that it will be another week before officials know for sure where the flu season has peaked in Minnesota. But he added that trends are pointing in that direction.

For example, there were only nine confirmed outbreaks in long-term care facilities last week; there were more than 50 the week before.

And in line with this trend, Roseville School District 623 administrator Chris Sonenblum said this week, "There is no reason to believe that this is an extraordinary year (for flu) or to speculate that numbers will rise in the coming weeks." (Click here to read the full report in Roseville Patch.)

Sonenblum's statement comes two weeks after Patch reported that two schools in Roseville District 623 have had enough cases of students sick with influenza this week to report that information to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). (Click on this link to see our Jan. 8 post on thls topic.)

If you still need to get a flu shot, here are some places in Roseville that have been offering the vaccine this season:

The Target Pharmacy, Walgreens or Health Partners North Suburban Family Physicians. Look at this map for more locations.

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