St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)  -  The ebbing flu season in Minnesota has claimed another young life. The Minnesota Department of Health today announced there has been another confirmed flu-related pediatric death in the state. It was the 5th death of a child in Minnesota blamed on influenza complications since the start of the current flu season. It’s not known if the most recent tragedy involved an infant in Albert Lea who suddenly died last week after exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

The health department this week downgraded its rating of overall flu activity statewide. After 9 weeks at “widespread”, the rating was dropped to “regional” as nearly every major indicator of influenza activity continued to decline last week. There were about 85 fewer hospitalizations blamed on the flu, but the 255 reported last week pushed the total for the season above 5000.

The weekly flu activity update shows there were only 22 reports of probable flu outbreaks in schools last week compared to 66 the previous week, while there was a small increase in the number of nursing homes and long-term care facilities reporting influenza outbreaks. The total went from 10 to 13 last week.

The final two indicators were also mixed last week. The percentage of positive results on samples sent in for lab testing dropped below 23-percent but there was a small uptick in the percentage of people seen at outpatient clinics with flu-like symptoms. It grew from 4.1-percent to 4.6-percent last week.

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