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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:33 pm 
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Minnesota reported 33 deaths in week 2, bringing the total to 60 and quickly approahing their record of 70 deaths.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Flu outbreak: 33 died in Minn. last week
by Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
January 17, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Flu activity remains high in Minnesota and many people continue to experience a severe form of the illness.

The Minnesota Department of Health released new case numbers Thursday showing that 33 people died from flu-related complications during the week of Jan. 6-12. That brings the state's influenza death toll to 60 so far this flu season. Hospitalizations also remained high with 476 people admitted for influenza care.

However, the agency says there's nothing particularly unusual about the situation.

"We are seeing those numbers at a much higher level than we've seen in recent influenza seasons," said Kris Ehresmann, director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Health Department. But she said that's also a reflection of how mild recent flu seasons have been in comparison.

Still, there's no doubt that flu is taking a significant toll on Minnesota. With 1,842 people hospitalized for flu so far this season, hospitalizations have already surpassed the total number of flu admissions that occurred during the H1N1 flu pandemic season in 2009.

And there are no signs yet that the flu outbreak is peaking.

"Really the message is that we have had exceptionally vigorous influenza activity for the first two weeks of reporting," said Ehresmann. "What we're looking for is, will we see a reduction? Will we see that we have kind of peaked? And we can't say that right now with the data that we have."

What health officials can say is that this outbreak resembles a typical flu season — albeit a severe one. Flu is hitting older people the hardest, while Ehresmann said there were no deaths reported among anyone under age 18.

"The majority of deaths are occurring in individuals who are 80 years of age and older. And the majority, meaning 60 percent or greater, of our hospitalizations are in persons 65 and older," said Ehresmann. "That breakdown really reflects what we would expect to see with typical seasonal influenza."

The H3N2 flu virus continues to account for the majority of Minnesota's confirmed influenza cases. That strain of flu is typically harder on older people and is also associated with more severe flu seasons.

Long-term care facilities are on the front lines of the flu surge. They saw a big jump in flu cases last week with 46 skilled nursing facilities reporting confirmed flu outbreaks. Outbreaks at long-term care facilities total 107 since the start of the flu season.

Kids have also experienced their share of flu. Outbreaks of influenza-like illness last week were reported in 92 schools, compared to just five schools the previous week. The surge in school outbreaks likely reflects the return of students to classes following the holiday break. Since the start of the season, 254 outbreaks of influenza-like illness in schools have been reported.

Public health officials say a typical flu surge lasts four to five weeks. Minnesota is already a little more than halfway through that time frame with this outbreak.

It appears that Minnesota could be on pace this year to record the highest number of flu deaths in five years. Longer-term comparisons are not possible since the Health Department changed the way it calculates flu deaths a few years ago. The record high of 70 confirmed flu deaths was set during the 2010-2011 flu season, Ehresmann said.

Ehresmann said she's not surprised to see the numbers holding steady.

"I think if we continue to see this level for three more weeks then that would be surprising because that would be a much longer, sustained peak than we might have seen in the past," said Ehresmann. "But we're not at the point where we can make that assessment."

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... u-outbreak

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Minnesota reported 23 deaths in week 1 and 33 deaths in week 2. The current MN record for the entire flu season is 70.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:55 pm 
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health said that there were 33 more deaths related to the influenza virus in Minnesota this past week.

According to the latest numbers released by the health department, that brings the total number of flu-related deaths in the state this season to 60.

In point of comparison, the health department’s data shows that Minnesota recorded 67 flu-related deaths during the 2009-2010 season, 70 deaths during the 2010-2011 season, and 33 deaths during the 2011-2012 season.

There were 23 deaths reported last week, and four deaths were reported prior to that period. When the health department reported last week’s numbers, they noted that most of the state’s deaths and 62 percent of the hospitalizations were among people 65 and older.

In all, the MDH reported 476 people were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza during the last week.

“Since the start of the influenza season, 1,842 persons have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza,” the health department reported.

At least 92 schools reported outbreaks involving flu-like symptoms during the last week.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/01/1 ... this-week/

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:57 pm 
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The Minnesota Department of Health says at least 33 more people have died from the influenza virus, bringing the total to 60 people this season.

The MDH released their latest report on Thursday with statistics gathered between January 6-12. During that week, they say 472 people were hospitalized for influenza and 46 long-term care facilities had outbreaks.

Schools are also taking a hard hit during what the MDH is calling a "very severe" flu season. Ninety-two schools reported outbreaks during the second week of January, bringing the total number of schools affected to 254.

Health officials still maintain the flu shot is one's best defense against getting sick. They also recommend frequest hand-washing and disinfecting of common surfaces.

http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1006 ... -Minnesota

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:00 pm 
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33 more flu deaths in Minnesota, raising state's total to 60

Posted: Jan 17, 2013 3:21 PM ESTUpdated: Jan 17, 2013 3:40 PM EST

by Mike Durkin - email

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
The Minnesota Department of Health reported 33 more flu-related deaths in the state last week, raising the total to 60 deaths in Minnesota this flu season.

88 percent of the deaths were patients age 65 or older, making up 53 of the 60 fatal cases this season. There were no deaths in the past week involving patients under the age of 24.

To put this year's flu outbreak in perspective, 33 people died during all of last flu season.


476 people were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza last week, Jan. 6 through Jan. 12. Since the start of the flu season, 1,842 patients have been hospitalized with the flu in Minnesota.

Nearly 100 schools reported outbreaks during the past week.

The CDC found this year's flu vaccine is 62 percent effective. That means those who get it have a 62 percent chance they won't have to see a doctor with flu symptoms. Those findings are consistent with a University of Minnesota study that found the seasonal flu vaccine only works 59 percent of the time in adults over a 45-year period.


Read more: 33 more flu deaths in Minnesota - KMSP-TV http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/20 ... z2IGxtGi7d

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Minnesota confirmed 33 more flu-related deaths Thursday, raising the season total to 60.

According to the Minnesota Department of health, nearly 500 patients were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms last week.

Health officials say people who are sick with flu symptoms should stay home from work or school to help blunt the outbreak.

Flu activity is hitting hard around the U.S, with most states classifying it as widespread.

http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2900321.shtml?cat=1

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Minnesota health: Another 33 flu-related deaths
By Christopher Snowbeck
csnowbeck@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 01/17/2013 12:01:00 AM CST
January 17, 2013 9:20 PM GMTUpdated: 01/17/2013 03:20:47 PM CST
Image

A sign in the entry of the the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in Mankato, Minn., spells out visitor restrictions that have been implemented to curb the spread of influenza. Mayo Health Systems recently put the restrictive policy in place in 15 hospitals in southern Minnesota and South Dakota because of the flu outbreak. (AP Photo/Mankato Free Press, John Cross)
The flu season continues to be severe with health officials confirming another 33 deaths in Minnesota.

The new deaths, which were reported in a weekly release by the Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday, Jan. 17, bring the total number of flu-related deaths this season in Minnesota to 60.

The number of flu-related hospitalizations jumped by 476, bringing the season total to 1,842. The flu season in Minnesota officially started on Oct. 1.

Thursday's report includes deaths that were confirmed during the week that ended Jan. 12. It also includes people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu during the week.

The flu season got off to a quick start this year in Minnesota, and health officials have already labeled it a severe year. The last bad flu year in the state was in 2009, when there were 67 deaths and 1,824 hospitalizations.

Christopher Snowbeck can be reached at 651-228-5479. Follow him at twitter.com/chrissnowbeck.

http://www.twincities.com/health/ci_223 ... ted-deaths

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Minnesota will be discssed tonight at 10 PM ET
Most of tonight's show will be on seasonal H3N2 issues


http://www.renseradio.com/listenlive.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Updated (5:30 p.m., 01/17/13): The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting that 33 additional people have died, which makes for a season total of 60 flu-related deaths.

Recent data released by the MDH Thursday reveals that 1,842 people have been hospitalized due to influenza.

Areas across the state are experiencing an influx of influenza cases and Oakdale is no exception.

The HealthEast Oakdale Clinic has been "extraordinarily busy" for the past two weeks, according to Dr. Todd Smith, the regional medical director for HealthEast. Smith's primary clinic is in Cottage Grove, but he also oversees Oakdale and Stillwater clinics.

"We've certainly seen an uptick in influenza cases," Smith said. "It's a tough spot because there seems to be a strain that even people who get the flu shot this year are getting influenza. It's a difficult message to relay."

Smith said that even though some people who have received the flu shot have also gotten influenza that the shot will still temper down the severity of influenza.

Smith has some advice if you are planning on getting the flu vaccine: Call first.

"Call to see if they have a supply," Smith said. "I think a lot of pharmacies still have them, but it's getting low too."

People have the choice between receiving a flu shot or a flu mist, which is applied up the nose, Smith said.

The flu vaccine does not prevent or treat the stomach flu. It also does not cause the flu, Smith added.

"It's a big myth out there that it causes the flu," Smith said. "It's not activated, so it simply can't."
http://oakdale.patch.com/articles/updat ... arily-busy

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