Updated: March 12, 2020 01:26 PM
Created: March 12, 2020 01:20 PM
Fifteen more people have died from flu-related illnesses, including the third pediatric death of the season, in Minnesota, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) flu activity report.
The total number of flu-related deaths in the state now stands at 110.
Last year's flu season had 95 total deaths with just one pediatric death, but this year's death toll is still significantly lower than the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 flu seasons, according to MDH.
The median age of those who've died from the flu this season is 72.5, MDH said.
However, hospitalizations due to flu-related illnesses dropped to 263 cases last week, down from the prior week when 395 cases were reported.
Nearly 3,600 flu-related hospitalizations have been reported in Minnesota this flu season. Nearly half of the hospitalizations last week were in the metro area, which has accounted for over 60% of total hospitalizations this season.
School outbreaks also dropped last week with just 22 outbreaks reported, half the number of the previous week. A total of 871 school outbreaks have been reported in the state this season.
The decline in flu-related outbreaks and hospitalizations comes as the spread of COVID-19 has rapidly begun to climb in the U.S. and Minnesota.
However, the flu is still considered widespread in the state and health officials urge people to take appropriate precautions, mainly by washing hands frequently with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if feeling ill.
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