Flu season is coming early to parts of the United States, including Michigan.
According to the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Flu Activity Reports, influenza levels are on the rise across the country, particularly in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennesse — states that are reporting flu activity not normally seen until January. The flu season typically peaks in January and February.
In Michigan, meanwhile, Google Flu Trends reports flu rates to be "high" this December, up from last year's low to moderate rating.
The Michigan Department of Community Health has, in fact, upgraded flu activity in the state from "sporatic" to "local," reflecting the recent increases in confirmed flu cases as well as a facility outbreak in southwest Michigan.
Why are more people calling into work and spending the day in bed? Holiday travel and more time spent indoors due to the soggy weather is the main culprit, the CDC reports.
According to a press release from the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), both the Influenza A/H3N2 and Influenza B are noted to be circulating throughout Michigan.
"Most of the flu cases seen this year are well-matched to this season's vaccine, so a flu shot can offer good protection, said Kathy Forzley, manager and health officer at the OCHD.
Health professionals recommend that individuals six months and older should be vaccinated against the seasonal flu every year. It can take about two weeks after the vaccination for the body to develop protection.
If you're considering getting a flu shot, check out where you find the vaccine in Birmingham:
Birmingham residents can also visit the Kroger Pharmacy and Target Pharmacy in Troy, on Coolidge Highway, as well as the Rite Aid at 2971 W. Maple in Troy. Shots are also available at the CVS at 30920 Southfield Rd. and the Target at 30333 Southfield Rd.
County residents can also find the flu shot for $16 at the OCHD offices from noon-8 p.m. Monday, and 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Offices are located at 1200 N. Telegraph Rd., building 34, in Pontiac.
"Flu is a life-threatening disease, especially for the elderly and infants who are at greatest risk of contracting illness," Forzley said. "If you are around these high-risk populations, it's also important to protect yourself so you protect them."
For more information on the flu, check out these resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
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