The Environment Report
8:50 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Flu season hangs on in northern and central Michigan

Flu season is usually wrapping up at this time of year, but experts say it’s not quite over yet.

A graphic representation of a generic influenza virus.
Credit CDC

The H1N1 flu virus reared its nasty little head again this year, and made some people very sick.

Dr. Matthew Davis is the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health.

“We saw back in December and early January that some relatively healthy younger patients were getting very severe cases of flu which in some cases were requiring life-saving treatment and in some cases caused death,” he says.

He says this year, two children died from the flu in Michigan.

Health officials are still getting reports of flu activity (you can check out the CDC's national map here).

“At this point, we’re still seeing activity higher than normal in the central and northern parts of the state and those are the regions that the Department of Community Health would continue to recommend that people get vaccinated against flu,” says Davis.

Davis says there are four dominant flu strains circulating this year, and the vaccine has been a close match for all four of them.

"Some of the earliest assessments of this year's vaccine indicate that it's been more effective than the usual influenza vaccines are because it's such a perfect match with the circulating strains. There's always a lot of guesswork that goes into putting the different strains of virus into the vaccines in terms of the proteins that are there. That match between the proteins in the vaccine and the circulating virus is always up in the air until the flu season actually hits," he says.