LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The strain of flu that has claimed three-dozen lives and has reached epidemic proportions in many states, appears to be setting its sights on Michigan.
Michigan is among the states facing an early onset of flu cases.
Currently 22 states are seeing higher cases than normal.
6 News’ Nick Perreault talked with community health officials about what measures one area hospital is taking to keep you healthy.
“Michigan is one of several states nationwide experience widespread flu activity,” said Jennifer Smith, Michigan Community Health Public Information Officer.
Smith says widespread means more people are finding themselves in area emergency rooms and doctor offices than normal
“This season we have seen a rapid onset, which means the flu has come on strong, however we expect to see these increases within every flu season,” Smith said.
Jennifer Smith says historically, the peak season for flu is January into February.
“Fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or a combination of these, suggesting influenza type illness, we cohort them or put them in a separate room,” said Dr. Apporv Kalra, Sparrow Infectious Disease MD.
As a precaution, Sparrow hospital is moving anyone with flu-like symptoms to different waiting rooms and limiting visitors to three people per room, especially in the labor and delivery unit.
The department of community health says it’s those little things that can prevent you from having those flu-like symptoms, such as making sure your hands are clean, covering yourself when you cough and of course, the most obvious getting your flu vaccine.
The early spike in flu cases or those with flu-like symptoms might have some question what’s leading up to this early outbreak.
“The strain that we are seeing predominately now, if you look at general population, the most common strain that we are seeing is not matching exactly what the vaccine has in it,” Dr. Kalra said.
Dr. Kalra says they’re ready to treat more cases, but if you continue to take precautions, Michigan can keep flu numbers moderate.