Local influenza cases on the rise

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) - Local doctors are reminding families to get their vaccinations, as the number of influenza cases soar in Washtenaw County. Doctors say young adults may be most at risk.

"Actually, I was volunteering at a hospital so I had to get it." said Arshdep Kaur who said because it was a requirement, the flu shot was a no brainer.

But Kaur's friend Meagan Lewis chose not to get the shot. Lewis says she's heard of people getting sick from the vaccine, so she's been willing to take her chances.

"We've seen about 60 cases hospitalized here in Ann Arbor related to influenza." said Dr. Anurag Malani, Medical Director of Infection and Prevention Control at Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, "This week, we've seen about 23 cases."

Dr. Malani says you just can't overlook the numbers. In the last two weeks, seasonal flu activity in Washtenaw County has more than doubled. And similar to 2009's H1N1 strain, this season's flu bug is sending young adults with robust immune systems to the hospital.

"Thus far, what we've seen in the 60 cases, about two thirds of them have not been vaccinated. " said Malani.

Even worse, as kids head back to school across Metro Detroit, doctors expect these numbers to rise.

"With the weather and school closings, there's a lot of public health concerns that we're going to see increases in influenza related activity." said Malani.

Malani says vaccines are still available and adds the flu season has not even peaked yet.

You can find out where to get a flu vaccine HERE:  http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-2940_2955_22779-121510--,00.html

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