U.P. Flu Season Severity

U.P. Flu Season Severity

Flu season continues to make news across the country.

Within the last week, New York state and the city of Boston have declared public health emergencies because of the flu.

The Michigan Department of Community Health is still reporting widespread flu activity in the state.

The agency says the southwest, southeast and central regions of Michigan are the hardest–hit areas.

Staff at Dickinson Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain say this is the worst season for them since the winter of 2003–2004.

They say the predominant strain this winter is the same one from that year.

Dickinson Memorial pathologist Dr. Martin Cristanelli says they’ve had more patients with flu symptoms than usual for this point in the season, but he says the dominant strain this year is not virulent enough to typically cause an epidemic or pandemic.

Officials at OSF St. Francis Hospital and Medical Group in Escanaba say the flu spiked in Delta County just before Christmas.

Nearly twice as many patients with flu symptoms as usual were coming in for a while, but there was a decline starting last week.

There’s no running total of adult flu deaths, but the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the flu kills nearly 25,000 Americans in an average year.

Twenty children have died from the flu in the U.S. this season, and four of those deaths have been in Michigan.

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