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Flu Continues to Circulate in Washtenaw County

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Influenza activity in Washtenaw County peaked during the last week of February. Both influenza A and B viruses continue to circulate locally at decreasing levels. Flu-associated hospitalizations are finally decreasing.

Vaccination is the best way to reduce the severity and spread of illness in our community. Good hand washing and basic prevention, like staying away from others if you're are sick, also help reduce the spread of illness. See our flu activity page for more information about the current flu season.

“The flu is more than a bad cold,” says Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, MD, MPH, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health. “Influenza is a highly infectious virus that can lead to serious illness and even death. Getting vaccinated protects you and others around you who may have a higher risk of serious illness and complications.”

Note - if you or others in your household have been sick with vomiting and diarrhea, it's not influenza but likely norovirus. There's no vaccination, but good hand washing is still important! See more 

How bad was last year’s flu season?

 
The 2015-2016 flu season was moderately severe in Washtenaw County. There were 210 flu-related hospitalizations in the county, and four flu-related deaths. Almost all adults hospitalized had a high-risk underlying health condition, most frequently obesity.
 

Washtenaw County had the best overall vaccination rate in the state of 37 percent, compared to the 25 percent state average. Yet, 18-24 year olds only placed 13th among their peers in flu vaccination rates, as measured by the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). The rate of vaccination in 5-12 year olds also fell, from 50 percent in the 2013-2014 season, to 40 percent in 2015-16.

Influenza

 
Symptoms of the flu include: coughing, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, fatigue, fever and/or chills. The flu can affect anyone, but older adults, children and individuals with chronic health conditions are at greater risk for severe complications from flu. Flu is a contagious illness that can be spread person to person through droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. 
 

Aside from vaccination, it is also vital to stay home if you are sick, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands often using soap and warm water, and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Please see the Washtenaw County Public Health website for ongoing information and surveillance on this year’s flu season.

Where to get vaccinated

 
Washtenaw County Public Health offers vaccines to children and adults regardless of insurance status or income. Call 734-544-6700 to schedule an appointment. Cost for the flu shot is $25 for children and $30 for adults. More information is available on our flu vaccine web page.
 

Flu vaccine is also widely available at area medical offices, pharmacies and community events. See flushot.healthmap.org for local options.

Other sources of reliable flu information
Flu Season Graphic


Washtenaw County Public Health

 

Washtenaw County Public Health promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs.

Washtenaw County Public Health has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Visit us at publichealth.ewashtenaw.org or call 734-544-6700.

 

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