MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health says the flu remains widespread in the state, as of the end of last week.

The health department reported there had been 261 more hospitalizations for the flu, which was down from the 337 the week prior.

Overall, there have been 4,699 flu-related hospitalizations during the current season, which is an increase of more than 1,000 from last year’s total, and the most during the last five years.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control said 84 children have died from flu complications since October. Three out of four of those children did not get the flu vaccine.

Next flu season you’ll be able to get your vaccine without a needle. Flumist, the nasal spray vaccine, has been approved for the 2018-2019 season.

It’s been off the market for two years because of its poor performance compared to the traditional flu shot. But the company that makes Flumist said it’s reformulated the vaccine and after tests, it works better now.

The advisory committee that decides which vaccines are available agreed.

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