The influenza outbreak of 2012–13 has now killed 60 Minnesotans and hospitalized 1,842, according to information released Thursday by the
Minnesota Department of Health.
The department’s second weekly report on the flu outbreak more than doubles the number of reported deaths in the state; which totaled 27 last week.
The total number of deaths is now nearly as high as that of the swine flu outbreak of 2009–10, which killed 67 Minnesotans. The number of flu-related hospitalizations actually exceeds the total of 2009-10.
According to a Fox 9 news report, 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 younger than 24.
The department’s latest report also showed that flu has struck a total of 107 skilled nursing facilities in the state, as well as 254 schools.
In Fridley, health clinics such as Unity Hospital have asked patients to consider remote consultations over the Internet instead of clinic visits, to minimize patient exposure to the flu virus.
"Unity is still seeing high numbers of patients with the flu," said Allina Health spokesperson Gloria O'Connell by email Friday.
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