Several Hospitals Restrict Visitor Access With Flu Cases On The Rise In Michigan

There have been nearly 3,000 flu-related deaths across the country this season.

January 06, 2020 - 7:55 pm
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(WWJ) -- Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been an uptick in influenza activity across the country and it is expected to continue for weeks. 

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths -- 27 of which were children. It was not clear how many cases or deaths had been reported in Michigan.

Several hospitals, including Michigan's Ascension Hospitals, McLaren Flint Hospital and Bronson Hospital in southwest Michigan, according to MLive. At 14 of the state's 16 Ascension Michigan hospitals, visitors must be at least 14 years old, show no signs of fever, cough, colds or stomach virus symptoms, and no more than two visitors will be allowed to visit with a patient at a time.

The CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older to get a flu shot and says it's not too late to get a shot. Antiviral medications are an important adjunct to flu vaccine in the control of influenza, the CDC says. Almost all of the influenza viruses tested this season are susceptible to the four FDA-approved influenza antiviral medications recommended for use in the U.S. this season.

"The flu shot doesn't guarantee you won't get it, but one of the things that may also be true is that while you do get the flu, maybe you don't get it as badly as you would if you didn't have the flu shot," Ascension Providence Hospital emergency doctor Steve McGraw told WWJ.

WWJ's Dr. Deanna Lites offers several ways to protect yourself and others from the flu.

  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs
  • If you're sick, stay home from work and other activities.

The CDC says the overall hospitalization rate for the season increased to 9.2 per 100,000, which is similar to what has been seen at this time during recent seasons.