St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The flu season rages on in Minnesota, where overall influenza activity has now been rated as “widespread” for seven straight weeks.

The Minnesota Department of Health’s weekly update shows the number of flu-related hospitalizations since the start of the season is closing in on 4,000, although there was another sizeable drop last week. After peaking at around 650 hospitalizations during a single week last month, the preliminary total for the week that ended February 3rd shows just over 300 people were admitted to Minnesota hospitals due to flu-related complications.

There were modest increases in the number of flu outbreaks reported by Minnesota schools and long-term care facilities. The health department says just over 100 schools reported outbreaks, which was about 25 above the total from the previous week. There were 13 outbreaks reported by nursing homes, which was up from 10 the previous week.

The health department’s report also shows the percentage of people seeking care at outpatient clinics because of flu-like symptoms was steady last week, while the percentage of positive results for influenza on samples submitted for lab testing dropped for a second straight week to about 25-percent.

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