COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - State Health officials are continuing to track a big spike in flu cases and in the last week, cited the death of an infant from Kalamazoo County, and a 13-year old from central Michigan as incentives for getting a flu shot. Dr. James Phiillips, the medical director for the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, told the agency’s Board of Directors at their meeting this month in Coldwater that it’s a good news-bad news scenario for the current flu season.
The good news, according to Philips, is that there’s a good match between the vaccine and the flu viruses that are circulating now. The bad news is that it appears this year might be more severe than most with the type of virus, H-3-N-2, associated with 3 times the risk of serious illness than other virus types. Also, the flu bug is spreading earlier this year than is usual. He says state Health officials are right, get a flu shot. It’s recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Wash your hands frequently, stay away from people who appear to be ill and live healthy.