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5 Flu Deaths, 900 Hospitalizations in Minnesota

Posted at: 01/09/2013 5:54 PM
By: James Wilcox

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Concerns over the flu are growing as more people are getting sick in and two, otherwise healthy teens, died from the virus.Health officials say more than 900 people have been hospitalized as the national flu outbreak hits hard in Minnesota.The state has recorded five confirmed flu-related deaths so far. Among them, a 14-year-old girl who'd been vaccinated and a 17-year-old boy.

South-central Minnesota has been particularly hit hard by the flu, with higher numbers than at the height of the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

More than a dozen Minnesota hospitals have imposed restrictions on visitors to protect patients and staff from the flu. The closest to us are in Mankato and Red Wing.

A Mayo Clinic Health System spokesman says businesses could ease the burden on the clinics and hospitals by relaxing their absentee policies so that employees don't need notes from their providers explaining flu absences.