LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is reporting an increase in influenza activity across the state and is recommending that residents receive their annual flu vaccine.
This week, MDHHS increased the flu activity for the state of Michigan to ‘Regional’ as a result of increased activity in the Southeast and Southwest regions. Currently, the MDHHS State Laboratory has confirmed 94 flu cases statewide, including 65 in the Southeast region, 14 in the Southwest region, 13 in the Central region, and 2 in the Northern region. Of the 94 lab-confirmed cases of flu statewide, 82 are influenza A, and 12 are influenza B.
“Seeing an increase in flu cases in January is not uncommon in Michigan and is a good reminder about the importance of getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Because it takes about two weeks for the body to build up immunity to the flu virus after getting the flu vaccine, people should not wait to get their flu shot to stay healthy.”
Flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that can cause mild to severe illness. Michigan ranks 42 in the nation for flu vaccination coverage, and falls below the national average for flu vaccination coverage for every age group. Multiple flu shot options are available this season, including a high-dose vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older, an egg-free flu vaccine for people with egg allergies, and vaccines that protect against three strains or four strains of the flu. Residents should speak with a healthcare provider about which vaccine is best for them.
National data suggest that the 2016-17 flu vaccine is a good match to the viruses circulating up to this point in the season. Plenty of flu vaccine is still available, and residents are encouraged to get their flu vaccine at provider offices, local health departments, or local pharmacies. To find a location near you to get a flu vaccine, visit www.vaccinefinder.org.
For more information about the flu season in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/flu. For national flu season information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.