8th flu death of season reported in Minnesota

Published 2:41 pm Friday, January 3, 2020

ST. PAUL  — Minnesota has reported another flu death, bringing the total to eight so far this season, the state Department of Health said Thursday.

The death is one more than the previous week. But no child deaths due to influenza have been reported since the flu season began, the department said.

According to the Health Department’s weekly flu update , Minnesota hospitals admitted 117 influenza patients last week. So far, more than 500 people have been hospitalized for the flu in Minnesota this season.

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No school outbreaks were reported in the last full week of 2019 because of the holiday break. Nearly 300 school outbreaks have been reported so far this season.

Clinics are reporting a surge of patients with flu-like symptoms, who represented nearly 6 percent of all clinic visits last week. That level of activity often is seen as the season approaches its peak, the Star Tribune reported.

Most of the patients tested were infected with the B strain of the virus which, unlike previous seasons, emerged early in the current season.

The B strain is more likely to affect children because fewer of them have been exposed to it in the past and had the chance to develop immunity.

Only nine flu outbreaks have been reported in Minnesota in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities so far this season.