The current flu outbreak spreading across Minnesota has now impacted 287 schools this season to date, a further 167 coming in the week ending Dec. 21.
The number of schools where at least 5 percent of total enrollment has contracted an influenza-like illness is now at one of the highest levels it's been in Minnesota in the past five years.
It means the Christmas break has come at a fortuitous time given the speed at which the flu is spreading through Minnesota's schools.
Of the 287 schools reporting flu outbreaks, the most of them – 61 – are in Hennepin County. There are 37 affected schools in Ramsey County, 23 in Dakota, and 20 in Olmsted.
This season's flu outbreak has also claimed a seventh life in Minnesota. So far this year though, the number of flu-related deaths is lower than it has been by the same period in recent years.
Last week, 78 people were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, with 351 hospitalized in total this season.