St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Flu activity in Minnesota remains very high although there are some very preliminary indications it might be peaking.

The Minnesota Department of Health continues to rate overall influenza activity in the state as widespread, and today reported 9 additional flu-related deaths for the week that ended February 22nd. That pushed the total for the current flu season to 67. There were no pediatric flu-related deaths last week but 2 children have died after contracting influenza this year.

State health officials also reported several hundred new flu-related hospitalizations. The preliminary total for the week ending February 22nd now stands at 366, which has raised the total for the season to over 2800.

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The number of flu outbreaks reported by Minnesota schools declined for a 4th straight week. There have been 35 reported to the health department for the past week compared to 66 the previous week. Outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities did the opposite. 17 outbreaks were reported last week, which was nearly 3 times the number reported the week before.

Besides the continued decline in school outbreaks, 2 other key indicators also dropped last week. The percentage of people reporting to outpatient clinics with flu-like symptoms and the percentage of positive results on samples submitted for lab tests both fell by about 2-percentage points, but it is too early to determine if that is a trend or just a temporary reduction.

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