St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota experienced its 5th straight week of widespread influenza activity last week. A weekly update from the Minnesota Department of Health shows most of the indicators used to measure flu activity were still headed upward last week, there were a couple exceptions.

For the 2nd straight week, the number of flu-related hospitalizations declined after climbing above 650 in early January. The report shows 450 flu-related hospitalizations were reported it to the health department during the week that ended January 20th, which was nearly 100 below the total from the previous week. Over 2900 people have been hospitalized because of influenza-related complications since the flu season started last fall.

There was also a decline in the number of confirmed flu outbreaks in Minnesota nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The report shows the number slid from 36 to 24.

There was a sizable increase in the number of Minnesota schools reporting probable influenza outbreaks. It shot up above 70 the week after students returned from winter break and rose to 111 last week.

Increases were also reported in the percentage of people coming to outpatient clinics with flu-like symptoms and the percentage of positive results for influenza in samples submitted for lab testing. That figure grew to nearly a third of all samples tested last week.

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