WITH POLL: Flu update: Season in full swing in Washtenaw County; more than 40 cases confirmed
Flu season is under way in Washtenaw County, as more than 40 lab-confirmed cases of the illness have been reported to date, health officials said this week. Eight people have been hospitalized.
Reports of flu cases began in September this year, a start that Washtenaw County Public Health officials said was earlier than normal. However, the illness did not appear to begin to spread widely until the first full week of December.
AP File photo
Four people were hospitalized with the flu last week in Washtenaw County. There’s a slight delay in reporting cases, so there could actually be more than the about 40 cases that have been reported locally, said Laura Bauman, epidemiologist for Washtenaw County Public Health.
Flu symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees or higher, a cough and/or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches and/or body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Although the flu season started early this year, Bauman said the illness is spreading at about the normal rate.
“I wouldn’t say it’s happening any faster, or that the curve is faster than the previous flu season,” Bauman said.
There’s no shortage of the flu vaccine this year, Bauman said.
Though some private doctors’ offices may not carry the vaccine through January, the public health department and many pharmacies carry the vaccine all winter, Bauman said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted that the flu vaccine formulated for this year is a good match for the strains of flu in circulation.
The vaccine contains two strains of influenza Type A virus and one strain of influenza Type B virus.
Though not every report of flu in Washtenaw County includes the virus type, Bauman said of the ones that have included that information, about 80 percent of them are influenza Type A.
Courtesy Washtenaw County Public Health