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Flu Season Slowing, But Still Deadly

Posted at: 02/07/2013 9:28 PM
Updated at: 02/07/2013 10:16 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- Minnesota's flu numbers may be on the decline, but that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet.

The outbreak is still proving deadly as the flu continues to claim lives throughout the state.

The Minnesota Department of Health has said we are now past the peak of the outbreak, but the situation is still serious.

Fifteen more people died last week from the flu, bringing the state total up to 127 for the season. Another 108 people were hospitalized last week, bringing that total to 2,612. Another 19 schools reported outbreaks across the state last week, but the situation is improving.

The number of people showing flu-like symptoms is down significantly from a few weeks ago. Health officials also say there is not nearly the rush for flu-shots as more and more people have been vaccinated against the illness.

With an outbreak that came earlier than expected, public health officials praised local hospitals and clinics for their ability to respond.

“They're easily able to adjust to the needs of what's happening in the community,” said Dawn Beck, associate director of Olmsted County Public Health. “And what I saw here was that they adjusted very well. Yes they saw a surge of things, but they definitely were able to handle it."

Health officials still encourage anyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot already to do so as soon as possible. They say there have been no shortages of vaccine reported anywhere in the area.