FOX 66 News at Ten
The state says 12 influenza cases are the first seasonal flu reports it has confirmed in Michigan during the 2012-2013 season.
The Michigan Department of Community Health announced Monday that the illnesses occurred in children and adults in lower Michigan.
The state says at least two people were hospitalized. Nine cases have been confirmed as influenza B viruses, two as influenza A (H3N2) virus and one as influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus.
"As with every flu season, we begin seeing cases in the fall just as we have this year," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "We know that the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against getting the flu. Now that we've confirmed the first cases this season, this is an excellent time to remind Michigan residents to get the flu vaccine."
Officials say it's too early to tell what influenza viruses will circulate this influenza season or how severe it might be. Precautions including flu shots when appropriate are recommended.
Sporadic flu cases are often seen in Michigan in the fall. Activity typically peaks in late January through February, but can sometimes peak earlier or later, depending on the strain of flu and severity of the season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to report Michigan's flu activity as "sporadic" -- the lowest of four levels of influenza activity.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Between 1976 and 2007, national estimates of flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Monday, October 15 2012, 04:48 PM EDT
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