The influenza outbreak of 2012-13 has now killed 60 Minnesotans and hospitalized 1,842, according to information released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health.
The department’s second weekly report on the flu outbreak more than doubles the number of reported deaths in the state; which totaled 27 last week.
The total number of deaths is now nearly as high as that of the swine flu outbreak of 2009-10, which killed 67 Minnesotans. The number of flu-related hospitalizations actually exceeds the total of 2009-10.
According to a Fox 9 news report, 88 percent of the deaths were patients age 65 or older, making up 53 of the 60 fatal cases this season. There were no deaths in the past week involving patients younger than 24.
The department’s latest report also showed that flu has struck a total of 107 skilled nursing facilities in the state, as well as 254 schools.
Health officials say it is not too late to get a vaccinated. Richfield's Assumption Catholic Church is offering free flu shots from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday and other clinics are still offering the service. Clinics in the area are:
Allina Medical Clinic—Woodlake
HCMC Richfield Clinic
- 12 W 66th St., Minneapolis
- 7845 Portland Ave. S., Bloomington
- 7940 Penn Ave. S., Bloomington
- 6975 York Ave. S., Edina
- 5415 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
- 12 W 66th St., Richfield
The City of Richfield also offered some flu facts and other ways to avoid illness if you choose not to get vaccinated.
- Richfield Church to Offer Free Flu Shots Sunday
- Ask the Patch Pro: Influenza
- UPDATE: Flu Rates Skyrocket in Minnesota; 27 Deaths Now Reported
- Fifth Flu Related Death Confirmed in Minnesota
- CDC Says Flu Rates Up in Minnesota; Where to Get Immunized in Richfield