A 6th child dies from the flu this season as officials see increase in virus activity


Another child has died from an influenza-related illness this season, and health officials say they've seen an increase in activity in one type of the virus.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Thursday there have been six pediatric deaths during the 2014-15 influenza season.

The latest death comes as health officials are seeing a decrease in influenza A H3 activity (influenza type A was responsible for the majority of influenza-related hospitalizations this year), but they say they have seen a recent increase in influenza B activity.

Although there has been an increase in activity, the spread of the virus remains local (the spread of the flu is limited to a single region of the state) and the number of hospitalizations (13) for the week ending Feb. 28 are also down compared to the week prior, which saw 29 hospitalizations.

In this week of the report, there were 11 influenza-related hospitalizations in the metro and two in central Minnesota.

There was a slight increase in the number of new outbreaks reported at Minnesota schools, rising from six to eight, according to the report. There have been 661 school outbreaks reported this season.

To date, there have been 3,009 influenza-related hospitalizations this season, which is the second highest in the past six years behind the 2012-13 season, which saw 3,068 hospitalizations.

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