Flu has arrived for the holiday season, CDC warns

Pearl Mccarthy
December 23, 2018

The 2017-2018 flu season killed the most people since the 1970s, the CDC also said at the time.

"It's too soon to make any assessment about this season's severity, however since this H1N1 virus emerged in 2009, it has been associated with significant illness and severe illness among young children", the CDC said.

The first flu-related pediatric death of the 2018-2019 season has been confirmed in MI, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. So far, the MDHHS says MI has only experienced localized flu activity but still advises anyone older than six months get a flu vaccine.

She says "We still encourage people even when you get the vaccine, to practice your hand washing skills, to cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve and to stay home if you're sick". Officials add 39.5 percent of MI residents were vaccinated last season, below the national rate of almost 42 percent.

Additional information on influenza-associated pediatric deaths including basic demographics, underlying conditions, bacterial co-infections, and place of death for the current and past seasons, is available on FluView Interactive. More than 79,000 deaths were attributed to the flu, 185 of which were children.

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In the U.S., antiviral medications and various flu vaccines are available in most pharmacies.

The state Health Department recommends that everyone six months of age or older receive an influenza vaccination. If you don't have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective.

Michigan's first child flu death this season has been confirmed, and state health officials are urging everyone 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated.

Last year's flu season, keep in mind, was particularly severe.

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