Residents urged to vaccinate as flu cases rise

Within the past week, two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported in Michigan.

The Department of Community Health says this is a "somber reminder" of the danger flu poses to children.

DCH recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

One of the deaths was a 6 month old child from southwest Michigan and the second was a 13-year-old from central region of the state. Nationally, eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported.

"While it's too early to tell how severe our season might be, there's no doubt that we've seen more cases already this year than we typically do," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "Hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized with flu each year. Vaccination is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves and our families against infection. It's not too late to get vaccinated before Michigan's flu season peaks."

Children less than 6 months of age cannot get a flu vaccination, but the DCH says the most important way to ensure they stay safe is to vaccinate yourself and those who will be around your child.

For more information about the flu, click here.