Minnesota Department of Health officials on Wednesday said a third person under the age of 18 has died of influenza since the start of the flu season.
That brings the number of pediatric deaths in Minnesota to three so far this flu season.
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The child had an underlying health condition, state infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said. But she warned the flu is hitting early and hard.
"Typically we see influenza peaking and having the most intense activity in late January, February," she said. "So to have this level of activity, and it's been going on for several weeks already in December, is unusual."
Ehresmann said there were flu outbreaks at 281 Minnesota schools last week. Schools report outbreaks to the state when 5 percent of students are ill.
That's close to the record set during the 2009 pandemic, she said.