5 more flu deaths, 116 hospitalizations reported in Minnesota

Deaths and hospitalizations related to influenza are continuing to increase week by week.

The latest influenza activity report from the Minnesota Department of Health lists five new flu-related deaths, moving the seasonal total to 12, one of which was a pediatric death.

A new seasonal high of 116 flu-related hospitalizations was also reported last week, up slightly from 105 the week prior. Last week’s hospitalizations account for over one-third of the total flu-related hospitalizations (327) reported this season.

With holiday breaks, no new school outbreaks were reported and the same goes for long-term care outbreaks. A total of 110 flu-related school outbreaks have been reported in Minnesota this season along with 14 long-term care outbreaks.

MDH’s report says 14.8% of molecular lab tests for influenza last week were positive in Minnesota. The metro has accounted for most of the hospitalizations in the state but south-central Minnesota has, by far, the highest case rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota still has minimal flu activity but every bordering state has higher flu activity, including North Dakota, which has "very high" flu activity.