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Flu Outbreak Picking Up Speed in Twin Cities Region

Officials at the Minnesota Department of Health noted a sharp increase in the number of serious flu cases over the last week of 2012, including two deaths in seven days.

State health officials have tracked an alarming uptick in severe influenza infections: In just a single week, over 200 people were hospitalized due to the illness. Two more flu-related deaths were also reported, bringing the number of fatalities for the season up to four.

According to a weekly influenza report issued by the Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday, 226 people landed in the ER as a result of the flu during the last week of 2012. This number that accounts for almost 40 percent of all cases that have been reported this winter. All told, 578 people have required hospitalization since flu season began in October.

The disease has been acutely felt by the most aged Minnesotans, though there have been several instances of severe and even fatal flu infections in teenagers. Over the last week of December, MDH recorded 17 separate outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some places in the Burnsville that offer the vaccine:

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