Flu hitting hard

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:59 AM

So far this flu season, 149 state laboratory cases and two flu-related deaths have been confirmed in the state.

“We typically don’t see this number of cases until February,” said Angela Minicuci, a public information officer for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Minicuci said there are likely many more cases than the number confirmed because many people don’t seek treatment and it goes undiagnosed.

North Ottawa Community Hospital’s Emergency Room Nurse Manager Gretchen Cosby said they’ve noticed a spike in the past two weeks of people coming in with symptoms of the flu.

Cosby said they’re seeing an overwhelming difference in fever temperatures compared to previous flu seasons. She said they’re seeing 102- to 103-degree fevers, and one that hit 104 degrees. While that’s high for children, it’s especially high for adults, Cosby said.

Other flu symptoms include a dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body ache, and extreme tiredness.

When people seek medical help, Cosby said they are treated based on symptoms. She said they isolate those testing positive for the virus because it’s carried by airborne droplets when a person coughs.

“You can’t cure the virus,” Cosby said.

Minicuci said they are seeing confirmed cases with the three strands protected by the flu vaccination — which includes an H1N1 A-like virus, an H3N2 B-like virus and a B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.

There have been plenty of vaccinations available this year, Minicuci said. She did not have the number of vaccinations that have been administered.

Minicuci encourages everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccination.

“It’s a very good way to protect yourself,” she said.

Find places offering the flu vaccination by clicking here.

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