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The sudden spike in flu hospitalizations seen in Minnesota at the end of last month has worsened.

The latest statistics from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that in the week ending Nov. 5, 108 people in Minnesota were hospitalized with the flu, up from 44 the week before.

A chart showing hospitalizations reveals that severe flu season has started earlier in 2022 (yellow line) than in previous years, where hospitalizations haven't started to escalate till late November/early December.

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It's early days, but it's looking very possible that Minnesota will have a bad flu season after two years in which COVID-19 measures have helped keep the spread of the virus relatively low.

Unsurprisingly, the Twin Cities is bearing the brunt of the virus so far, comprising 87% of hospitalizations this season. The median age for hospitalizations is young, too, at 30.

However, the three people who have died from flu so far have an average age of 82.

After 15 school outbreaks in the week ending Oct. 29, there were 97 school outbreaks reported in the week ending Nov. 5. Again, this is much earlier than has been seen in recent years.

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The rise in influenza cases comes after a similar spike in RSV cases, which particularly affects infants.

Fortunately, so far, there has not been a similar rise in the more deadly COVID-19, with cases staying relatively stable in comparison to the past two years.

Minnesota's state health officials have been issuing advisories encouraging people to get vaccinated for the flu and boosted for COVID as soon as possible.

The CDC reports that this year's flu vaccine has 50% efficacy against hospitalization from this season's major flu strain. Fortune reports that it's considered a "good" flu season when the vaccine is 40-60% effective.

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