Fifteen deaths were confirmed during week 5 of the 2013 flu season. Since its start Minnesota has seen 127 flu–related deaths.
The peak of the flu season was earlier this year and it appears to be slowing down. The MN department of health released an Influenza update for January 26 through February 2. State health experts say the flu vaccine was about 62 percent effective.
South Central Epidemiologist for the MN Department of Health, Brad Krier says, "Some studies have shown on the average of 59 percent or so it's not perfect, no vaccine is 100 percent but 60 percent is better than zero."
Experts say even though the worst may be over it's still important to continue taking proactive measures like washing your hands to stay healthy and to stay home if you're not.
South Central Epidemiologist for MN Dept of Health, Brad Krier says, "It has been really mild season those last couple of years. The most that we saw during the peak was 100–150 cases. This year was quite a bit higher that the hospitalizations than the pandemic year in 2009. So a lot of illnesses but we're slowing down."
Since the beginning of the flu season there have been over 2,600 hospitalizations. Locally they are easing up some on some restrictions.
Kevin Burns says, "Most hospitals in the region have lifted their visitor bans. However, that doesn't mean we should let up on our diligence. So people who sick will not be allowed to visit patients any Mayo Clinic so we can protect them and the patients and the staff."
Experts say it's not too get vaccinated if you haven't yet.