Two pediatric flu deaths confirmed in Michigan

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is confirming the first two flu-associated pediatric deaths of the 2016-17 season.

The deaths involve one child from northern Michigan and one from western Michigan.

This has been a moderate flu season but the MDHHS is still recommending that everyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot.

“The flu vaccine this year is a good match to those viruses circulating in our communities, meaning it offers more protection than it may have in recent years,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “It is not too late to get vaccinated.”

The flu strain that is being seen in more than three quarters of the cases is the H3N2 variety.

That particular strain can be especially hard on children, young and middle-aged adults.

Children younger than 6 months old are too young to be vaccinated and so it is important that people around them are vaccinated against the flu.

In the 2015-2016 flu season, only 42.2 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, putting Michigan in 42nd place in the country.

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