Number of Patients with Suspected Cases of Flu Rise Sharply

Grant Boone
December 31, 2018

The CDC reports high levels of illness in nine states, and moderate levels in seven others plus Puerto Rico. Although the elevated activity has prompted the CDC to announce the start of flu season, health officials say it's too early in the season to know how severe it will be.

So far, the MDHHS says MI has only experienced localized flu activity but still advises anyone older than six months get a flu vaccine. There have been 11 total flu-related deaths among children during the 2018-2019 season, according to the CDC.

October had been the official start of the flu season with Influenza A viruses making their way across the US; however, influenza B viruses have also been circulating.

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

Flu symptoms range from fever, cough to a sore throat and are sudden rather than a slow buildup of symptoms. Some can even experience diarrhea and vomiting. More than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died.

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Those who are at higher risk for developing flu-related complications should be treated with antiviral medications as soon as possible. But the most important step to stop seasonal flu, according to the CDC, is for everyone 6 months or older to get vaccinated.

In the week ending on December 22, a total of 68,148 people sought outpatient or emergency treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals and clinics across the nation, compared with 61,628 people the week before, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said, adding that 20 of the patients - 85 percent of whom had not received flu vaccines - developed serious flu complications.

Hand-washing, staying away from sick people and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth can help prevent the flu. People 65 years and older and also young children are highly susceptible to the disease and the CDC and OSDH highly recommend getting flu vaccinations.

"I hear a lot of patients say that they don't want to get the flu shot because it causes the flu", he says, "That is 100% inaccurate".

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