MDHHS reports 1st flu-related child death this season

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first influenza-related child death in Michigan for the 2021-2022 flu season, the agency announced.

The reported death involves a child from Kalamazoo County who contracted flu strain known as A/H3, the agency said Friday. It did not reveal the age of the child.

A/H3 was first identified in U.S. pigs in 2010 and first detected in people in July 2011, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Once children reach six months of age it is recommended they receive two doses of the flu vaccine for their first series,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive for the Michigan health agency, said in a news release. “In addition, pregnant women should get the flu vaccine during each pregnancy.”

Increases in flu-like illness and hospitalizations are currently taking place in Michigan, which is not typical for this time of the year, the agency said. Elevated flu activity has occurred across the country over the past few weeks, it said.

Nearly all of the positive influenza specimens confirmed by the the agency this flu season have been Influenza A/H3, it said.

For more information about the flu, visit Michigan.gov/flu.  (AP)

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