Flu season is coming early in parts of the United States and has hit Oakland County hard in recent weeks. On Wednesday, Oakland County's Health Division urged residents to take preventative action and get vaccinated against seasonal flu in the wake of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that said there has been a rapid increase in flu cases in Michigan.
The increase in confirmed influenza cases and a facility outbreak from the southwest region of the state prompted the Michigan Department of Community Health to upgrade flu activity statewide from “sporadic” to the next higher level of “local.” Both Influenza A/H3N2 and Influenza B are noted to be circulating and showing increases in several other areas of Michigan, a news release stated.
"Flu is a life-threatening disease, especially for the elderly and infants who are at greatest risk of contracting illness," said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of OCHD. She said that most of the flu cases this year are well matched to this season’s vaccine, which can offer good protection.
”If you are around these high-risk populations, it’s also important to protect yourself so you protect them," she added.
Overall in Michigan, activity is considered high now, while it was low at this time in 2011, according to Flu Trends.
If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some Bloomfield-area locations that offer the vaccine:
According to this week's CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are on the increase across the country.
Five states – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee – are reporting flu rates not normally seen until January, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The flu season normally peaks in January and February.
Holiday travel and more time spent indoors due to soggy weather will contribute to the spread of the flu virus, so now is the time to get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information:
- Who should get vaccinated
- When to get vaccinated
- Selecting a flu vaccine
- Symptoms, complications and severity
- Treatment if you get the flu
- How flu spreads