2 Children Die Of Flu In Michigan, Health Officials Say

WWJ News
January 10, 2020 - 4:55 pm
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LANSING (WWJ) - Two Michigan children have died from the flu.

The kids were from Wayne and Shiawassee counties, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and were infected with the Influenza B virus.

hTese are the first two pediatric deaths in the state this flu season. 

“These tragic deaths are a reminder of how serious influenza can be,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “I urge all Michiganders ages 6 months and older to get their flu shots if they have not already done so this season. It is not too late.”

Flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of the influenza virus and can result in mild to severe illness. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during last year’s flu season there were an estimated 34,200 deaths from influenza. In Michigan, four children died last year due to flu-related complications, while nationally there were 136 flu-related deaths among children.

Looking at this season, Michigan has experienced widespread flu activity over the past few weeks.

"We're seeing very high volumes of influenza type B, influenze type A, but it's about four times greater B than A this year, which is a little uncharacteristic," said Dr. Rudolph Valentini is the Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. 

Valentini said the best protection from the flu is a flu shot, and the MDHHS strongly recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. 

To find flu vaccine near you, call your doctor, your local health department or check the Health Map Vaccine Finder at Flushot.healthmap.org. For the facts about the flu vaccine and other vaccines, visit IVaccinate.org.