Five more deaths linked to H1N1 in Minn.

Five more people have died of complications from the H1N1 flu virus in Minnesota, health officials said Wednesday.

The Minnesota Department of Health said the most recent deaths bring the total number of H1N1 confirmed deaths in the state to 44 since last May. Five additional influenza deaths are believed to be associated with the virus, but they could not be confirmed as H1N1 by lab tests.

Flu cases in Minnesota continue to drop at hospitals and clinics. Eight clinics that report influenza-like illness to state health officials reported that less than 0.5 percent of office visits were related to the flu last week.

Only one school reported an outbreak of flu-like illness last week, compared to none two weeks ago. There were no flu outbreaks at long term care facilities.

State health officials have said they believe flu activity in the state has peaked, but they said there could be a third wave yet this winter.

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