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Influenza on the Wane in Twin Cities

Department of Health says there were an additional 15 deaths last week, but that 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.

Google flu trends says Influenza activity in Minnesota still is "intense."The same holds true for most of the United States. The flu activity in Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota has dropped to "high."

Related Coverage

  • What's Truth and Fiction in Influenza Epidemic?
  • 60 Now Dead in Flu Outbreak (Jan. 17)
  • 27 MN Deaths as Flu Rates Skyrocket
  • Where to Get a Flu Shot (Jan. 9)

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