The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2017-2018 flu season. The death involves a child from the Upper Peninsula. Nationally, there have been more than 50 influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported this flu season.
This flu season has some of the highest hospitalization rates ever recorded according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More than three quarters of the positive influenza specimens confirmed by MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories this flu season have been an H3N2 virus
“It is not too late to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “The vaccine is your best defense against the flu and will help reduce the severity of symptoms if you catch the flu despite being vaccinated. And remember, if you or your child is sick, stay home to help protect others.”
Vaccine is especially important for children, adults 65 years and older, people with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women. During the 2016-2017 flu season, only 44.2 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, putting Michigan in 33rd place in the country.