Flu deaths rise to 169 in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed four more flu deaths in the week ending March 2, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths to 169 since the beginning of the flu season.

State health officials said there were 36 people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu in the week ending March 2, which was up slightly from the previous week when 31 people required hospitalization. The number of hospital cases was down significantly from the apex of the flu outbreak, when hundreds of people were hospitalized per week, Associated Press reports.

During the final week of February, six Minnesota schools reported outbreaks of influenza-like illness while just one long-term care facility in the state confirmed an outbreak of flu, Associated Press reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between February 24 and March 2, seven of 10 U.S. regions reported influenza-like illness at or above region-specific baseline levels. Four states experienced moderate flu activity, 13 states and New York City dealt with low flu activity, 33 states experienced minimal activity and the District of Columbia had insufficient influenza data.

During the same week, nine states reported widespread influenza activity, 24 states and Puerto Rico reported regional influenza activity, 13 states and the District of Columbia reported local influenza activity, four states reported sporadic influenza activity and Guam reported no influenza activity.