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First Pediatric Death from Flu in Michigan

Thursday December 27, 2018

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2018-2019 flu season in Michigan

flu virus

MDHHS and the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency are urging tri-county residents to get vaccinated for protection against the flu this season.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine. It has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalization, and even death in children. “During the 2016–2017 season, vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million illnesses, 2.6 million medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, nationally,” says Yvonne Atwood, Director of Personal Health and Disease Prevention. “Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu illness and hospitalization, and also has been shown to help protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, until the baby can be vaccinated.” While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

Seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round; however, seasonal flu activity often begins as early as October and November and can continue to occur as late as May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February, so it is not too late to get your flu shot. Vaccine is especially important for persons at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, persons of any age with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and need to be protected by vaccination of their close contacts, including parents, siblings, grandparents, child care workers and healthcare personnel.

Call the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency to schedule your appointment:

Branch County: Monday immunization clinics – call 517-279-9561 ext. 100
Hillsdale County: Wednesday immunization clinics – call 517-437-7395 ext. 336
St. Joseph County: Tuesday immunization clinics – 269-273-2161 ext. 208