FLU SEASON: Its not too late to get flu shot
LANSING — The 2018-2019 flu season is already underway and positive flu cases have been confirmed throughout the central, southeast and southwest regions of Michigan. As part of National Influenza Vaccination Week, District Health Department No. 10 (DHD No. 10) is reminding families that it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe infection in the nose, throat and lungs. The flu season typically starts in October and can last as late as May.
“Anyone can get the flu and face serious complications, which include death,” states DHD No. 10 Medical Director Jennifer Morse. “That is why the flu shot is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, regardless of whether they are healthy or have risks. The very young, pregnant women, elderly and those with certain underlying health problems are at higher risk to have serious flu-related complications.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last year’s flu season was estimated to be the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. More than 79,000 deaths were attributed to the flu, 185 of which were children. In Michigan, two children died last year due to flu-related complications.
The CDC recommends routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older. This year there are many flu vaccine options available, and residents should speak with a healthcare provider about which flu vaccine is best for them.
DHD No. 10, doctor’s offices and pharmacies are easy-to-access options for flu shots. Children who lack insurance may be eligible for the Vaccines for Children program available at DHD No. 10 and many provider offices. No one should go unprotected from the flu. Call (888) 217-3904, option No. 2 to make an appointment at local DHD No. 10 offices. Residents with questions about vaccines, including the flu vaccine, can visit IVaccinate.org. For more information about flu activity in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/flu.