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Michigan reports first two influenza-associated pediatric deaths

Government of Prince Edward Island

The Michigan health department has announced two influenza related deaths among children younger than five.

Across the country there have been 32 flu-related  pediatric deaths so far for the 2019-2020 season.

Last year Michigan saw four children die from influenza related complications.

Lynn Sutfin is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She said nationally there has been an uptick in influenza deaths.

“It has been a pretty bad season actually for children. We are seeing an uptick for that. It’s concerning and it’s always a tragic thing to lose a child to a disease like this. We’re making sure people are aware that influenza can be very serious.”

According to Sutfin, Michigan hasn’t seen a similar uptick.

“One of the things that a little unusual this year is we’re seeing an early emergence of influenza b. Typically that’s a virus we see at the end of the season so that’s a little bit of a difference.”

Sutfin said it’s never too late to get vaccinated against the disease.

According to the Health Department during last year’s flu season only 46% of residents were vaccinated.