MDH reports first 2 flu-related deaths of season | KSTP.com

MDH reports first 2 flu-related deaths of season

In this photo provided by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky receives her flu shot on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 in Atlanta. The U.S. is gearing up in case of a bad flu season on top of the continuing COVID-19 crisis, with a plea Thursday for Americans to get vaccinated against both. Photo: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases via AP. In this photo provided by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky receives her flu shot on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 in Atlanta. The U.S. is gearing up in case of a bad flu season on top of the continuing COVID-19 crisis, with a plea Thursday for Americans to get vaccinated against both.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: November 12, 2021 01:58 PM
Created: November 12, 2021 01:33 PM

The Minnesota Department of Health has reported its first two influenza-related deaths of the season.

In its weekly report, MDH noted two people — one between 65 and 79 years of age and another between 18 and 49 — have died in recent weeks and been classified as flu-related deaths. The median age of flu-related deaths this year is 52.5.

Health officials said, last year, masking and social distancing for COVID-19 prevention also significantly helped reduce influenza cases. Just seven flu-related deaths were reported last year, well below the normal rates. Before last year, the previous four years averaged nearly 260 flu-related deaths per year, with 440 reported in 2017-18.

Additionally, there were six new flu-related school outbreaks last week after two were reported the previous week. A total of 25 flu-related school outbreaks have been reported this season.

MDH also reported one new long-term care outbreak last week, bringing the total this year to two.

Seasonal influenza activity remains low across the U.S., particularly in Minnesota, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, doctors are urging Minnesotans to get a flu shot because it's "more important than ever."


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