ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Health said Thursday that the state is experiencing a "very severe flu season," and at least 27 people this season have died from the influenza virus.
More than 1,100 people have been hospitalized with flu this season, and it's been difficult for health officials to keep up. Some hospitals have restricted visitors in an attempt to protect patients and staff from the flu.
Here is a breakdown of the numbers from week 1, which encompasses the time period from December 30, 2012 to January 5, 2013.
- 401 people were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza during week 1. Since the start of the influenza season, 1,121 persons have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza.
- 23 deaths were confirmed during week 1. Since the start of the influenza season, 27 influenza-related death have been reported.
- 28 long-term care facilities (defined as skilled nursing facilities) reported confirmed outbreaks of influenza during week 1. Since the start of the season, 59 outbreaks of influenza have been reported.
- 5 schools reported outbreaks of influenza-like illness (ILI) during week 1. Since the start of the season, 138 outbreaks of ILI have been reported.
Flu activity is hitting hard around the U.S, with most states classifying it as widespread.
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