Flu shows up in Michigan early this year; vaccines recommended
Flu has already arrived in Michigan this year, several weeks earlier than normal. That means it's time to get your flu shot, health officials say.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Even though there have so far been no cases of seasonal flu in Washtenaw County, people shouldn’t wait to get vaccinated, she said.
Health officials recommend vaccination for everyone six months and older.
One opportunity to get a shot is coming up next Wednesday at the YMCA in Ann Arbor. The Michigan Visiting Nurses will be giving shots to those 9 and older at the facility, 400 W. Washington St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pneumonia vaccinations also will be offered.Many area pharmacies, including those at Kroger and Meijer, also offer the shots, or you may be able to get one from your doctor. The Michigan Visiting Nurses are also offering the shots at various times at several other locations around the area.
The flu vaccine protects against two strains of influenza Type A virus, including H1N1, which caused pandemic flu in 2009, and one strain of influenza Type B, Bauman said. Most of those sickened so far in Michigan have had Type B, she said. Every year, health experts try to match the formulation of the vaccine to the types of flu they believe are most likely to affect the population.
The seasonal influenza just starting to circulate is different from a type of swine flu virus that sickened a Washtenaw County child in August, Bauman said. That child and another person in the same family caught the virus from a pig, Bauman said. Four other cases were reported in the state. Unlike seasonal flu, that particular strain of flu virus does not spread easily from person to person, she said.
It’s impossible to tell, Bauman said, what the early onset of flu in Michigan this year portends for the season as a whole.
“Flu is unpredictable, she said.
You can read more about influenza and its symptoms on the government's flu website.