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Influenza Season Returns to Minnesota

CentraCare Health gives flu shot. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Influenza is back in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Health says across the state, 36 people were newly hospitalized with influenza during the week ending Saturday. That brings total hospitalizations in the state to 104 so far this season.

The new hospitalizations were a 50 percent increase over 24 new hospitalizations the previous week, according to numbers released Thursday.

Health department spokesman Doug Shultz tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press that “things are starting to increase.”

More Minnesotans were hospitalized with flu a year ago at this time – 173 new hospitalizations were reported during the comparable week in 2012.

But Schultz says it’s too early to know how the current flu season ultimately will compare with last season, which was Minnesota’s worst flu season in five years.

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