Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press
Published 10:25 p.m. ET Nov. 7, 2019
This is what you should look for from the 2019 flu season. Veuer’s Natasha Abellard has the story.
A 69-year-old man is dead in Oakland County’s first flu death of the season, announced the county’s heath division Thursday.
“Vaccination is the most effective protection against the flu,” said Dr. Russell Faust, medical director for Oakland County in a news release. “Don’t wait to get the flu shot. Contact your doctor or nearest pharmacy for flu vaccine availability.”
Flu season began Oct. 1 and can last as late as May.
The Oakland County Health Division recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive an influenza vaccination and take preventative measures such as washing their hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub when water is not available.
Groups at a higher risk of flu complications include children younger than 5 years old, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions.
Getting a flu shot every year decreases the risk of becoming sick. In addition, vaccinations lowers the severity of the illness, complications and protects the community, especially for those who cannot receive a flu shot. The flu virus can spread to others as far as six feet away, mainly when infected people sneeze, cough, or talk. While less common, a person may become ill by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.
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The flu usually occurs suddenly, and people can experience some or all of the common symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
The CDC reports that people with the flu are most contagious within three to four days after they begin to feel sick. Some people can be contagious up to a full day before they become symptomatic and up to a full week afterward.
Some people, especially those with weak immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.
Last year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported an increase in flu activity. During the 2018-2019 influenza season, flu activity peaked at 3.2% at the end of March.
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