Health Care

CDC: Widespread flu activity reported in Georgia

CDC: Widespread flu activity reported in Georgia”

According to the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Michigan is lagging behind many other states in residents getting their flu shots. To date, there have been 19 local cases total so far this flu season - with 12 of those reported this week.

During the last flu season, only 39.5 percent of MI residents were vaccinated against flu, which is below the national rate of 41.7 percent. Last week, cases of influenza rose by 72 percent, with new cases in 58 out of 62 counties. They are Wyoming, Yates and Seneca counties, and Hamilton County in the Adirondacks.

The number of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza was 363, a 41 percent increase from last week.

Louisiana had seen high rates of flu in late November but numbers have dropped in that state.

Persons who have not received a flu shot this season are urged to do so.

"Generally, the highest hospitalization rates are for people over 65 and this year so far, the highest hospitalization rates are for children under 5", Dr. Kerry Fierstein, the CEO of Allied Physicians Group, said.

"Getting vaccinated protects you as well as the people around you, including those who are more vulnerable, like babies and young children, elderly people and people with chronic health conditions", state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a news release. The CDC reported six pediatric deaths, 4,310 infectionsand 18 weeks of widespread outbreaks. That's up from a week earlier when only six states, including NY, had seen widespread activity.

Health officials said most people are testing positive for Influenza A H1N1.

Hand-washing, staying away from sick people and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth can help prevent the flu.

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