People coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, suffering that razor blade feeling when you swallow. Yes, it is flu season.

Minnesota has been hit hard so far with six deaths related to the flu. According to health officials, there were 60 cases of flu-like illness reported last week. That's a five-fold increase from the week before.

The Department of Health says the flu continues to spread statewide, with cases reported in every region. It has hit children particularly hard. They have a higher than usual share of the 262 flu-related hospitalizations reported so far this season, although none of the deaths involved children. Health officials say some schools are missing as many as one-fifth of their students.

And while you may be diligent in getting your flu shot many do not.

The Center for Disease Control reports that every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently.

Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.

Source: Associated Press

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