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Confirmed flu cases at Michigan labs rise to 338

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan health officials have confirmed 338 flu cases at state-run labs as the virus sends children and adults to hospitals, doctor offices and urgent care centers.

"There are many more out there that have been confirmed by hospitals and local health departments," state Department of Community Health spokeswoman Angela Minicuci told The Associated Press Friday. "This flu season is worse than others. It's not slowing down yet.

"We're not at an emergency level yet. We're getting the message out to communities and we are watching what other states are doing."

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches. It was widespread in 47 states last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Wednesday, Boston declared a public health emergency, with the city's hospitals counting about 1,500 emergency room visits since December by people with flu-like symptoms.

Nationally, 20 children have died. There is no running tally of adult deaths, but the CDC estimates the flu kills about 24,000 people in an average year.

Flu has killed a 6-month-old, 6-year-old, 13-year-old and 15-year-old in Michigan. There also have been some adult deaths, but those don't have to be reported to the state, Minicuci said.

In Michigan, the hardest-hit regions are in the southwest, central and southeastern parts of the state.

Some pharmacies are running out of the flu vaccine, but enough is available on order.

"It's a supply and demand issue. The flu rate is so high right now that people are getting their flu shots," Minicuci said.




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