Slow Start To Flu Season In Michigan

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jan 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 08:38:53-05

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - With only 74 lab confirmed cases in the state, flu season is off to a bit of a slow start in Michigan.

"Typically this is kind of the calm before the storm in flu season," Linda Vail, a health officer with the Ingham County Health Department said.

According to the State Health Department, that storm of flu activity typically happens in February. Meaning the small number of cases is about to rise. They say it's because people spend more time together during the holidays.

"So when they're together during the holidays with their family members, germs can be spread very easily so we tend to see a lot of illness happen after the holidays,” Angela Minicuci, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said. “And that's why we see that rise and that peak in February."

There's also some good news about the current cases of the flu.

"So far we're seeing a lot of the flu cases that are coming in are matching what's in the flu vaccine strain," Minicuci said.

Doctors say it's not too late to get vaccinated.

"Once you get a flu vaccine it generally takes a week to two weeks to do its job," Vail said.

If you don't want to get a shot, at least wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough. They say it’s important to protect yourself in any way you can from the virus. Because every year there are cases of people who die from the flu.

"They do tend to be associated with children or older adults,” Minicuci said. “But they also happen in young adults as well."

There are also misconceptions on what the flu even is. So keep a lookout for certain symptoms.

"Flu is a respiratory illness,” Vail said. “Coughing, little bit of a fever, muscle aches. Generally lasts about a week."

And if you do end up getting the flu...

“The best thing you can do if you get the flu is rest, fluids, ibuprofen, basically stay home when you're sick,” Vail said.