ST. PAUL, Minn. – The flu season appears to be finally winding down in Minnesota but could still end the third worst in the last six years.
The Minnesota Department of Health’s Influenza and Respiratory Illness Report for the week ending March 7 states there were 263 more people hospitalized due to the flu that week, raising the season’s total to 3,577. That was a steep drop from 395 hospitalization the week before but still leaves a possibility that Minnesota could have the second highest number of flu-related hospitalizations in the last six years, second only to the 6,446 in 2017-2018.
110 deaths in the state have been association with influenza this season, with three of them happening to victims less than 18 years old. The median age of the deceased stand at 72.5 years, the lowest number since the median age of death for flu victims was 68 years old in 2015-2016.
With 10 weeks left in this flu season, the death rate in Minnesota is far below what the state has seen in years with similarly high numbers of hospitalizations. For example, this season has already seen a similar number of hospitalizations as what happened in 2016-2017 (3,577 to 3,695) but has seen less than half as many deaths (110 to 273).