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Hand antiseptic and face masks are available in the entrance of Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar for visitors to help decrease the spread of germs. Health officials are predicting this year’s flu season could be severe. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

West central Minnesota flu cases on rise


WILLMAR — Influenza cases have surged this past week in what is shaping up to be a severe flu season. Several patients were sick enough to be hospitalized, said Wendy Ulferts, chief nursing officer at Rice Memorial Hospital.

“It’s keeping us very busy,” she said Wednesday.

Flu is hitting harder and earlier than health providers have seen the last couple of years.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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