Influenza hospitalizations rise in Michigan

There are some recommendations to stay healthy and avoid the cold, Flu, COVID-19, and RSV.
There are some recommendations to stay healthy and avoid the cold, Flu, COVID-19, and RSV.(KOLO)
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 8:56 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - As cases of RSV decrease, hospitals across the state are seeing the number of inpatient influenza cases on the rise.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said this has been the highest rate of cases since 2020.

“We don’t have the same type of data that we have for COVID-19 that we do for influenza so we’re relying on a lot of surveillance data which doesn’t give us the count of every case. But we do have information from hospitals about how many patients are coming in with influenza,” Bagdasarian said.

Self-recorded data from hospitals in Michigan report 205 patients hospitalized from the flu.

“What we’re seeing is severe compared to last year and the year before, but I think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Bagdasarian said.

Kate Beer from the Western UP Health Department said there has been a slight increase in cases in the Upper Peninsula.

“We’re really seeing some lower levels right now whereas downstate it’s a lot more prevalent. So, it’s coming but it’s not here yet,” Beer said.

Beer also says the best way to avoid the virus is to get vaccinated.

“The first line of defense is to get the annual flu shot and we also recommend handwashing and avoiding crowded conditions where we suspect that people may be infected with flu,” Beer said.

She says to stay at home if you start feeling sick.

“If you develop respiratory symptoms, cold and flu symptoms, the first thing to do is stay home and avoid going out in public. You should also take a COVID-19 test, it’s a good idea to have a stash of those during this cold and flu season,” Bagdasarian said.

Dr. Bagdasarian encourages everyone to receive a vaccination, especially the elderly or immunocompromised. Flu and COVID-19 vaccinations are available to anyone over the age of six months.

If you would like to know where to get a flu vaccination, click here.