Metro Detroit suffering under harsh flu season as weeks still remain

(WXYZ) - The deadly flu epidemic isn’t easing up anytime soon.

Several more deaths have been reported in just the last few days including a White Lake man and a 12-year-old boy here in Michigan.

We’re only on week 10 of flu season, and the numbers are skyrocketing. So far nationwide there have been 14,000 hospitalizations, doubling last years numbers, and there doesn’t appear to be a slow down in sight.

The number of deaths among children is particularly frightening. At least 53 children have died this flu season, including a 12-year-old in the Upper Peninsula.

Doctors are reminding parents there are tell-tale signs when you should take your child to the hospital.

"Respiratory distress and the child is still not taking fluids and getting dehydrated,” says Dr. Jay Gopal of Medstar Union Memorial Hospital.

The family of 51-year-old Timothy Schell of White Lake says he died in Colorado after complications from the flu on January 31.

The CDC estimates that influenza has caused 9 million to 35 million illnesses, 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 56,000 deaths in the United States each year since 2010.

In many cases, hospitalizations and deaths do not show up in official reports. That can be for a variety of reasons including most people with flu are never tested for it and states aren’t required to report adult flu deaths.

Doctors recommend if you haven’t gotten the flu shot, do so.  It’s your best defense.

Flu season can last up 20 weeks, which would put us in May before it lets up.

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