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First influenza-linked child death reported in Michigan this season, MDHHS says

Posted at 9:09 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 23:22:35-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The first pediatric death linked to influenza in Michigan this season has been confirmed, the state health department said on Friday.

The child contracted influenza A, H1N1, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said. At least 93 flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported this season nationwide.

“These are tragedies that no family should ever have to endure,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive in a statement. “Each year influenza claims the lives of dozens of children across the United States. This is why MDHHS continues to strongly recommend that everyone six months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your family from getting sick and reduces illness severity if someone does get the flu.”

According to MDHHS, Michigan is seeing a rise in influenza cases right now.

“Over the past few years, we have been seeing a late spike of flu cases at the end of the season, which is unusual," said Dr. Hassan Akel, an emergency room physician based in metro Detroit.

Since October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nationally, there have been at least:

  • 28 million to 51 million flu illnesses
  • 13 million to 24 million flu medical visits
  • 310,000 to 640,000 flu hospitalizations
  • 20,000 to 57,000 deaths

MDHHS say 25.1% of Michigan residents are vaccinated against the flu this season.
You can find a flu vaccine near you by calling your health care provider, your local health department or at vaccines.gov. More information about the flu in Michigan can be found on the states website.