First Flu Case of Season Confirmed in Michigan

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State officials said Friday they had confirmed the first case of influenza in Michigan during the flu season.

It was found in an 18-month old toddler from Oakland County. The child was not hospitalized as a result of the illness.

Janet Olszewski, director of the state Department of Community Health, encouraged residents to get the flu vaccine.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to upgrade Michigan's flu activity to "sporadic," the lowest level of flu activity the government tracks.

Flu cases are often seen in Michigan starting in November and become more frequent in the following months.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.

Each year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu, more than 200,000 are hospitalized and about 36,000 die from the flu.

The elderly, young children and people with certain health problems are at high risk for serious flu complications.

State officials estimate that nearly 2.4 million doses of flu vaccine have been shipped to Michigan this year. Health care providers should have ample supplies of vaccine by Thanksgiving.