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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The early influenza season in Minnesota has yet to exhibit any signs that it might be peaking anytime soon.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported more than 350 influenza-related hospitalizations for the week that ended November 26, continuing a steady upward trend that began several weeks ago. In past weeks, the vast majority of the hospitalizations were being reported in the Twin Cities area, but those reports have become a bit more spread out across the state. Hospitalizations in southeastern Minnesota now account for 10% of the total, while the Twin Cities share has dropped from around 80% to less than 70% of the statewide hospitalization total.

Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health
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The number of flu-related deaths in Minnesota nearly quadrupled last week. There have now been 19 deaths blamed on flu-related complications since the beginning of the influenza season.

The State Health Department also reported an uptick in outbreaks reported by nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. 7 outbreaks were reported last week compared with only 3 the previous week.

Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health
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The only area of improvement noted in the weekly flu activity report from the health department was in the schools. The number of outbreaks of influenza-like illness reported by schools throughout the state dropped from 240 the previous week to 142 last week, but that was likely due to the shortened school week for the Thanksgiving holiday break.

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