A surge in the number of Minnesotans hospitalized with the flu late last month has state health officials fearing that the state may be in store for a “severe” flu season. The Minnesota Department of Health says 123 Minnesotans were hospitalized with the flu as of right before Christmas, doubling the amount from the previous week and equaling one-third of the total number of cases this season. There have been 2 flu-related deaths in Minnesota so far this season as well. The best ways to avoid catching, and spreading, the flu include: covering your cough, washing your hands with warm water and soap, staying home if you’re sick, and keeping sick kids home. It’s also not too late to get your flu vaccine.