Flu at record levels in Minn, health official says

State epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield says Minnesota hospitals and clinics are reporting "record activity" related to the flu.

The number of suspected cases of the H1N1 flu has spiked in recent days -- as the state goes through what's called "an acceleration phase" of the second wave of the outbreak.

H1N1 vaccine is still limited, but Lynfield says it's worth getting even after the illness peaks.

"In prior pandemics, there has been a third wave," said Lynfield. "So, even if we have peaked, there is utility in vaccinating people because it may prevent a third wave, or it may diminish the third wave."

Lynfield says the statewide flu hotline has been swamped since nurses starting taking calls about the flu last Wednesday. She says more than 8,000 people have called with questions about H1N1 flu.

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