MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  Flu-related school outbreaks have tripled since the week of Jan. 5, the Minnesota Department of Health reports.

During the week of Jan. 12, DOH found 113 new school outbreaks, while there 32 during the week of Jan. 5.

Surveillance indicators still show the influenza to be widespread, but Minnesota is only seeing a moderate level flu-like illness compared to high-activity levels like North Dakota and Nebraska.

In their weekly report, DOH said the state saw 187 cases of hospitalization, the majority of which were in the metro area. The median age of patients hospitalized was 52 years. DOH also reported 44 hospitalizations related to RSV. However, the median age of those patients was just eight months.

Hospitalization rates are similar to previous years, and have yet to exceed an epidemic threshold. It’s too early to know, however, whether the season has peaked or if flu activity will increase again.

The best way to prevent the flu, as recommended by DOH, is to get vaccinated. Antiviral medications are also important; almost all of the influenza viruses this season are susceptible to FDA-approved medications.

For more information, you can find the whole copy of DOH’s report here.

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