St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The number of flu-related deaths in Minnesota doubled last week.

The State Department of Health says it received 8 reports of deaths due to flu-related complications during the week that ended January 4th. Prior to that, there had only been 8 deaths blamed on influenza since the start of the flu season last fall. Nearly all of the fatalities involved patients who were over the age of 65, although state officials did receive a report of one death in the 18-49 age group.

The department's weekly report on influenza activity shows there was a modest decline in the number of hospitalizations for flu complications. The total dropped from 193 the previous week to just over 170. There have now been over 750 flu-related hospitalizations this season.

The report shows 9 schools reported flu outbreaks during the past week and 6 long-term care centers had confirmed outbreaks. Overall flu activity continued to be rated as widespread.

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