Flu cases spike in Minnesota

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Health officials predict it could be one of the worst flu seasons in years in Minnesota.

Flu patients have been filling urgent care centers and emergency rooms across the state. More than 120 Minnesotans were hospitalized with the flu in the week ending Dec. 22, nearly twice the number of cases in the previous week, health officials said. And it’s still early in the flu season.

“That suggests this has the potential to be severe,” said Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann.

Email newsletter signup

The Centers for Disease Control warned in early December of a potentially severe flu season. Through Dec. 22, flu was classified as widespread in 31 states, according to the CDC’s website.

Since the start of the flu season in October, 297 people have been hospitalized, officials said.