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It's Time to get your Flu Shot

Flu cases have been reported in Washtenaw County. Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older every year.

It is time for everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against seasonal flu (influenza). The first flu-related hospitalizations of the season have been reported. See our flu activity page for ongoing information and surveillance on this year’s flu season and data from previous years.

“A lot of people say ‘it’s just the flu,’” says Christina Zilke, immunization coordinator at Washtenaw County Public Health. “However, influenza is a serious respiratory illness. Nationally, it causes more hospitalizations and deaths than all other vaccine preventable diseases combined. In Washtenaw County, we had almost 300 flu-related hospitalizations last flu season.”

The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your community from the flu is get vaccinated. Vaccination can protect against hospitalization and death due to flu, as well as reduce the spread of illness in our community. 

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.

Where to Get Vaccinated

Flu vaccine is widely available at area medical offices, pharmacies and community events. See http://flushot.healthmap.org/ for local options. Most people with insurance can get flu shots at their doctors’ offices or pharmacies for free (no additional cost). Get vaccinated

Washtenaw County Public Health offers vaccines to children and adults regardless of insurance status or income. Cost for the flu shot is $30 for children and $40 for adults. Call 734-544-6700 to schedule an appointment. More information is available on our flu vaccine web page.

The nasal flu vaccine is not recommended this year, so all vaccine should be administered in a shot.

About Flu

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. 

Other sources of reliable flu information

Last Year’s Flu Season

The 2016-2017 flu season was moderately severe. Flu season activity remained low until January 2017, reached peak levels in late February and March, and finally slowed in May 2017.

There were 296 flu-related hospitalizations of Washtenaw County residents last flu season. This is the second highest number since tracking began in 2009. The majority of the hospitalizations were in individuals over 65 years old. Ten flu-related deaths were reported in adults. There was one flu-related death in a Washtenaw child; the first one reported in over a decade. 

Washtenaw County had the best rate of flu vaccination for Michigan in 2016-2017, as measured by the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). Overall, 39 percent of Washtenaw residents 6 months and older were vaccinated against flu, compared to 26 percent statewide. Although Washtenaw County is the highest in the state for vaccinating children against flu, the current rate of vaccination in five to 12 year olds (41 percent) has fallen from the 2013-14 flu season, when the rate was 50 percent locally. 

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