Cases of influenza in Minnesota now widespread, state health department reports
As of the last week of 2013, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 71 influenza-related hospitalizations for a total of 189 since the flu season began.
There have been no influenza-related deaths identified in people 18 or younger. The most commonly identified strain of flu in the state has been influenza A or H1N1.
This season’s cases of people hospitalized for influenza is far less than the 382 hospitalized for the same time period in the 2012-2013 season but more than the combined numbers recorded from the previous four winters — from 2008-2012.
Adding up the cases for the 52nd week of the year from the last four seasons equals 37.
This season, cases began to climb in the last few weeks of 2013. Since September, the greatest number of cases with hospitalizations have been in the metro area with the median age of those admitted at 50.7.
The percentage of people presenting with flu-like illnesses at outpatient clinics jumped last week, mimicking the spike from a year ago.
The weekly U.S. influenza surveillance report ending Dec. 21, listed Minnesota with a regional outbreak at that time, along with much of the nation.
Influenza was widespread as of Dec. 21 along the nation’s northeast and in Texas, Alaska, Louisiana, Wyoming, Kansas and Alabama.