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Pediatric flu death confirmed in Michigan, first of 2017-2018 season

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Feb 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 14:07:14-05

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2017-2018 flu season.

The reported death involves a child from the Upper Peninsula. Nationally, there have been more than 50 influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported during the 2017-2018 flu season.

MDHHS says this flu season has seen elevated activity across the country over the past few weeks, with some of the highest hospitalization rates ever recorded.

"It is not too late to get vaccinated," said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “The vaccine is your best defense against the flu and will help reduce the severity of symptoms if you catch the flu despite being vaccinated. And remember, if you or your child is sick, stay home to help protect others.” 

During the 2016-2017 flu season, only 44.2 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, putting Michigan in 33rd place in the country.

MDHHS urges residents to make sure they protect themselves and their families against getting flu this season.