Two more Minnesota flu deaths but the outbreak is slowing

  • Updated: April 4, 2013 - 7:54 PM

Two more flu-related deaths were confirmed in Minnesota last week, down from four the previous week, as this season’s outbreak continues to slow.

The number of people hospitalized with flu symptoms last week was 15, the Minnesota Department of Health said in its weekly influenza update. That’s down from roughly 600 per week at the outbreak’s peak in mid-January. There were no reported outbreaks in nursing homes and only one school outbreak.

This has been the deadliest flu season in Minnesota for years, claiming 186 lives since October.

Flu season usually peaks in January or February, but it can start as early as October — as it did this season — and linger into late May, federal health officials said. Data in the weekly Health Department updates may represent events from previous weeks that took time to verify.

Flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, extreme fatigue, stuffy nose and body aches. Most cases pass in a few days, but flu can lead to serious respiratory problems.

Health officials say it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

JEFF HARGARTEN

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