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Ask Dr. Nandi: Flu on the rise in MI

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 17:43:23-05

(WXYZ) — Influenza cases continue to rise with some reports ranking Michigan as the second sickest state in the nation.

I know that the flu is worse this year because so many of my patients, friends and family have been sick with it.

Now the latest data from the Michigan Disease Surveillance Systems reports that there’s been over 300,000 “Flu-Like Disease” as of Dec 28th. And of those, over 30,000 have been Influenza.

Now, leading the way is the B Victoria Lineage virus. And this is notable because these types of viruses are unusual for this time of the year. We don’t typically see this many cases until later in the flu season.

The flu is bad nationwide. The CDC says flu activity is not only high, but it’s been elevated for eight weeks. And cases continues to increase.

So why is the flu worse this year? Well, as we very well know, influenza is highly contagious. But researchers studying viruses say that influenza is much more stable in cold air. And that when the humidity is low, especially around 20%, it helps virus particles to hang in the air.

So if someone who is sick, sneezes or coughs, little respiratory droplets that contain the flu virus can float around much longer than when the humidity is high.

The CDC estimates that there have been around 6.4 million flu illnesses nationwide so far. Roughly 55,000 people were hospitalized and 2,900 have died, 27 of them were children.

Now looking at the percentage of deaths that have been attributed to pneumonia and influenza, it’s at 5.5% Which is below the epidemic threshold. But since the flu is widespread, I want to remind folks to get the flu shot. Because the CDC is predicting that flu activity will remain elevated through mid-January and possibly peak again in February. So please help protect yourself and loved ones by getting vaccinated.

The flu vaccine not only prevents millions of flu illnesses, but it may help you avoid potentially serious complications if you do get sick.

Nationwide, thyroid problems are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. And this small butterfly-shaped gland plays a crucial role in the functioning of our entire body. So the upcoming Dr. Nandi Show is all about unlocking the mystery surrounding the thyroid. Expert guest Dr. Amy Myers shares how having a thyroid disorder affected her life and how she’s helping women with similar issues. Plus, author Rock Robbins reveals the harrowing story of his wife’s journey with thyroid disease and the impact it had on their marriage. Tune in this Saturday, January 4th at 1 pm.