St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - After a relatively slow start, it appears influenza activity in Minnesota is on the rise.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued an advisory Thursday urging people who have yet to get a flu shot to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

The department this week upgraded its rating of flu activity in the state from “local” to “regional.” It appears the change is mainly due to increases in the number of people seeking medical care who present with flu-like symptoms and the percentage of samples submitted for lab testing that come back positive for influenza.

The other indicators tracked on the health department’s weekly flu activity report have yet to reflect a surge in illnesses caused by the viral infection. The number of flu related hospitalizations actually dipped last week and there was only one confirmed outbreak in a long-term care facility.

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