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Flu still spreading widely in Michigan as state's vaccination rate is only 25%

Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-11 06:24:25-04

As we head into spring, health care leaders are reminding people not to let their guard down against the flu. The virus is still spreading widely in Michigan.

Just days ago, Michigan reported its first pediatric flu-related death this season.

Nationwide, there have been 93 pediatric deaths from the flu this season, and in Michigan, only 25% of residents are vaccinated against the flu.

The CDC released its latest flu surveillance map and remains at a "high" activity level for the second straight week.

According to doctors, vaccination and early treatment are the way to go.

As for the child who passed away in Michigan, it's not clear where they lived. Information hasn't been released.

"Our hearts go out to the people who lost their loved ones to anything, especially this family who had to endure this horrible, horrible loss," Roni Auob, a physician assistant at Medcare Urgent Care, said.

"Over the past few years, we have been seeing a late spike of flu cases at the end of the season which is unusual," Dr. Hassan Akel, the ER physician at Medcare, said.

That includes children, who Dr. Ali Shuayto, who said that children sometimes will appear to be healthy but have an underlying condition that can increasse their chances of dying from the flu.

"Sometimes that's kind of the case where you will see a pediatric case come in and their case just declines rapidly and exponentially and you're like, 'how'd this happen? This is just the flu. Why is so bad in this patient?' and usually there is some underlying condition," Shuayto said.

If you child still catches the flu, early treatment is the next best move.