With the coronavirus pandemic dominating the headlines, you might have forgotten that it's still flu season — but new numbers from the state show it continues to be a problem in Minnesota.
The latest weekly influenza report from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) designates the flu as "widespread" — the most severe classification — with 3,577 hospitalizations so far this season.
In the week ending March 7 (this week's numbers will be available in the next report), 263 people were hospitalized.
Though that number is a decrease from the previous week (when 349 were hospitalized), the total number of deaths in the 2019-2020 flu season — 110 — have already outpaced the total from last season, in which 95 people died of the flu in Minnesota.
This season's Minnesota flu deaths also include three children.
Nationwide, the death toll is at 20,000, with 350,000 hospitalizations overall, the MDH update says.
The CDC says that "flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks."
Avoiding the sickness requires preventive steps similar to those for COVID-19: washing hands, avoiding close contact and refraining from touching your face.