St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The flu season is getting into full swing in Minnesota. The State Department of Health has upgraded its rating of overall influenza activity in Minnesota from “regional” to “widespread.”

The data included in the department’s weekly report on flu activity suggests the upgrade is due to the steadily rising percentage of specimens submitted for lab testing that are positive for influenza. Over the past two weeks, that percentage has jumped from around 5-percent to almost 17-percent.

There was also a modest increase in the number of outbreaks reported by schools and long-term care facilities. 8 probable outbreaks were reported by schools and 8 confirmed flu outbreaks were reported by nursing homes and other long-term care centers.

State health officials have yet to receive any reports of flu-related deaths involving children this season and the number of flu-related hospitalizations was down slightly last week.

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