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Doctors: Flu season only beginning in Michigan

Posted at 10:40 AM, Dec 27, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — The number of people getting sick from the flu in Michigan is lower than this same time last year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But Michigan doctors say it is only a matter of time before influenza spreads across the state.

"The flu season can last 11 to 20 weeks, starting in October, so we are thinking that we are going to start seeing the flu picking up, unfortunately," said Dr. Christina Gramith of Hamilton Community Health Network

The state confirmed Michigan's first flu-related death last week.

The flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of the influenza virus.

Last year's flu season, keep in mind, was particularly severe. More than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died.
Many were adults older than 65, but also 180 children died from the flu. Two children in Michigan died last year because of the flu-related complications.

Last year's flu season also really didn't peak until January-February, and even extended into March, so it's not too late to get the shot. It takes about two weeks to kick into full effect.

So far, the MDHHS says Michigan has only experienced localized flu activity but still advises anyone older than six months get a flu vaccine.

During the last flu season, only 39.5 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, which is below the national rate of 41.7 percent.