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Health, Science and Environment

Michigan’s flu season could be more severe this year

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Early predictions from the Center of Disease Control said flu season could be more severe this year.

Dr. Joshua Meyerson is Medical Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. He said this year the vaccine has been made to protect against the H3N2 and H1N1 strain of the virus.  

“This year what we’re seeing mostly is that H3N2 strain. The strain is matching what’s in the vaccine. So, we do think the vaccine will give good protection against that.  But in general H3N2 will cause more severe illness than H1N1”.

Meyerson said Michigan is mirroring the current national trend of people becoming infected.

He said many southern gulf states are already seeing widespread outbreaks, and it’s working it’s way north.

“Now Michigan is reporting local activity which is an increase from the week before when it was just sporadic. So, we are starting to see some influenza cases increase in the state of Michigan. We’re on the curve but that curve is going up, and the average time for it to peak is mid February but it can vary from season to season”.

Meyerson said the vaccine is still widely available in Michigan and he recommends if you don’t already have it, you get it.

He said it’s also a good idea to practice common sense prevention like hand-washing to avoid catching the bug.