Michigan reports first flu-related child death

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric deaths of the 2019-20 flu season in Michigan.

The reported deaths involve children infected with Influenza B. They were from Shiawassee and Wayne counties.

Nationally, there have been 32 influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported during the current flu season.

Rebecca Burns, health officer with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, said an annual seasonal vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu.

The 2017-18 flu season was the most severe in a decade. While only moderate in severity, the 2018-19 season was record-breaking in duration, with flu activity remaining elevated for 21 weeks.

So far during the current flu season, Michigan is ranked second in the nation for number of flu cases, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

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