St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) -

Some potentially good news can be found in the weekly update on influenza activity from the Minnesota Department of Health. While the agency continued to rate overall flu activity statewide as widespread last week for 9th straight week, there were improvements reported in every indicator tracked by the health department.

Flu-related hospitalizations, which now total almost 4700 since the beginning of the flu season, have been on the decline since the middle of last month. The health department received reports of 261 hospitalizations for flu complications last week, which is the lowest that number has been since late December.

There were also declines last week in the number of schools and nursing homes reporting flu outbreaks. School outbreaks fell from over 100 to just over 60 while there were 10 confirmed flu outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, which is down from 12 the previous week.

There was a dramatic fall in the percentage of people seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms at outpatient clinics throughout Minnesota. The Health Department says the drop was from 5.7-percent to only 4.1-percent, while there was a slight decline in the percentage of positive results from samples submitted for lab testing.

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