ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Influenza remains widespread across Minnesota.

According to the latest weekly report from the state Department of Health, hospitalizations for flu increased to a total of 577, compared with 380 reported in the week ended December 24th.

Kris Ehresmann, director of epidemiology for the state Health Department, says in reports that the flu is "continuing with vigorous activity."

Ehresmann says the number of school outbreaks were down largely because schools were not in session because of the holidays.

Still, there were 34 that reported outbreaks compared with 315 the previous week.

There were 22 outbreaks in long-term care facilities compared with 33 the previous week.

This year's dominant flu strain is H3, a strain that has historically been hardest on the elderly and on very young children.