Minnesota’s death toll from influenza this season has now climbed to 176. This comes after the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed another 7 flu-related deaths from over the past week. The 176 deaths are the most the state has recorded in at least five flu seasons. Comparisons before that time are limited due to a change in the way the state Health Department calculates flu deaths. Flu illnesses continue to decrease. Last week a total of 37 people were hospitalized for the flu in Minnesota. A long-term care facility in St. Louis County reported a flu outbreak as well, as did schools in Murray and Big Stone Counties.