Severity of Minnesota flu outbreak downgraded as cases drop


The severity of the spread of influenza in Minnesota during the current flu season has been downgraded following a fall in cases.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday that it is now categorizing the spread of flu in the state as "regional", having been considered "widespread" since December.

Official figures state that there were 21 hospitalizations related to flu in the week between January 10 and 17, which is a fall from 49 the week before, and much fewer than the number of cases seen in the corresponding week in the past two years.

There were warnings last month that this flu season would be the most severe in recent memory, even more so than 2012/13, when more than 3,000 people were hospitalized.

But case numbers have been falling since Christmas, and so far there have been just under 1,600 hospitalizations across the state.

Last week, health officials warned that the flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective this year, partly because the predominant flu strain seen in Minnesota this year, the H3N2 strain, is more resistant to anti-viral drugs.

And despite the dropping hospitalizations, this year's flu season has already claimed the lives of four children.

Figures from North Dakota show that the state has had far fewer flu-related hospitalizations since the beginning of September, with just 170.

Next Up

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.

court gavel

Minneapolis man sentenced to 30 years for death in robbery gone wrong

James Moore was sentenced in the death of Malik Smith.

Em1jOWyWEAwspXK (1)

St. Paul homicide suspect arrested by FBI in Chicago

A 34-year-old Minneapolis man was killed in the Nov. 14 shooting.

Sanford Health

Sanford Health 'parts ways' with CEO after his face mask comments

Kelby Krabbenhoft had been with the company since 1996.