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N.D. flu case count nears 2,000

BISMARCK - State health officials say the number of confirmed flu cases in North Dakota is nearing 2,000. The Health Department reported 1,931 cases this week. The figures show 343 in Cass County, 316 in Burleigh County, 125 in Morton County, 122...

BISMARCK - State health officials say the number of confirmed flu cases in North Dakota is nearing 2,000.

The Health Department reported 1,931 cases this week. The figures show 343 in Cass County, 316 in Burleigh County, 125 in Morton County, 122 in Grand Forks County and 115 in Stark County.

Health officials say 35 people have been hospitalized because of the flu, which has struck in 51 of the state's 53 counties.

Fargo's MeritCare Hospital has seen increases in people being tested for the flu since January compared with last year's first three months, a spokeswoman said. It's not known how many of those tests were positive.

At Bethany Homes in Fargo, 201 S. University Drive, officials advise visitors to stay away from the second floor of the CARES II unit because some residents are showing signs of the flu.

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"We're recommending that people not visit that area so visitors are not bringing anything into the building nor taking anything out," said Grant Richardson, director of development and community relations for Bethany Homes.

It's unknown how many of the unit's 49 residents are showing symptoms, Richardson said.

Bethany Homes has 192 nursing-care residents, 149 assisted-living residents and 35 living in the community apartments.

Last year at this time, the state reported 1,566 flu cases.

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