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5 more dead from swine flu in Minnesota

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The Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday that five more deaths in the state have been attributed to the H1N1 swine flu virus, bringing the total number to 26.

Since September, 1,439 people have been hospitalized with confirmed cases of the virus.

The upside of this sad news is that, while the infection rate remains elevated, it appears to have tapered in recent weeks.

For example, nine schools reported outbreaks in the past week, compared with 40 schools the week before.

Here's the data:

During week 45 influenza activity in Minnesota decreased somewhat but remains elevated.

  • Nine (9) schools reported outbreaks of influenza-like illness during week 45. Forty (40) schools reported outbreaks in week 44.
  • Two (2) outbreaks due to influenza were reported from long-term care facilities (defined as skilled nursing facilities) this week.
  • Influenza-like illness visits to outpatient clinics involved in our Sentinel Provider Network increased this week.
  • Since September 1st, 2009, there have been 1,439 confirmed novel H1N1 influenza hospitalizations and 1,699 total novel H1N1 hospitalizations since the virus was first identified in Minnesota.
  • Five (5) influenza A H1N1-associated deaths were confirmed in week 45. Twenty-six (26) influenza A H1N1-associated deaths and two (2) influenza-type unspecified deaths have been reported since the virus was first identified in Minnesota.
  • The most common strain of influenza characterized at the MDH PHL has been 2009 influenza A H1N1.