State health officials say that influenza is now widespread across the state and much of the country. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says two children, one in Wayne and another in Shiawassee Counties, have died in the state so far this flu season. Across the country, there have been 32 influenza-related pediatric deaths.
The very young and the elderly at most at-risk of serious complications from the flu.
“We definitely recommend individuals over six months of age who have not received their influenza vaccine to go now.” - Lynn Sutfin, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
“Those who are on the young edge might not necessarily have their immune system built up all that well yet,” says Lynn Sutfin of MDHHS. ”Then as we get older, our immune systems tend to wane. So those are the ones that are most vulnerable for serious consequences from influenza.”
Last flu season only 46.1 percent of Michiganders got a flu shot. That’s less than the national average of 49.2 percent. There’s still time to protect yourself.
“It does take about two weeks for it to reach its full capacity, as far as protection,” Sutfin says. “But we definitely recommend individuals over six months of age who have not received their influenza vaccine to go now. Either to their health care provider, the local health department or even your local pharmacy.”
It’s believed over 32,000 people died from influenza during the 2018-19 flu season.