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DETROIT MEDICAL CENTER FOCUSING ON UPCOMING FLU SEASON

Sep 28, 2020

DETROIT — As we continue our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is more important than ever for everyone to be vaccinated for the flu.

Each year thousands of people are hospitalized as a result of the flu. If a major flu outbreak were to occur along with a second wave of COVID-19, hospitals could be pushed to capacity.

“Hospital patients, younger children and senior citizens are particularly susceptible to influenza and spreading the virus,” according to Dr. Teena Chopra, corporate medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at DMC Harper University Hospital. “One of the challenges in fighting flu is that the virus can spread very easily. However, every step we can take to ensure the spread of flu is kept to a minimum is a step in the right direction in the fight against the flu.”

The flu season in southeast Michigan usually begins around October and ends around the middle of April or early May. Just before flu season begins, Detroit Medical Center (DMC) works to ensure that all DMC employees and patients are informed about where to get vaccinated, when it is available and why getting the "flu shot" each year helps prevents the spread of flu infections and safeguards the health of DMC employees, patients, and their families.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show Michigan’s vaccination rates for children ages 18 and younger have dropped more than 20%, going from about two-thirds to less than half of children. Based on Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) data, only 31.2% of Michiganders received a flu vaccine during the influenza season last year.

There were 952 (147 pediatric, 805 adult) flu-related hospitalizations in Michigan reported for the 2019-20 flu season, including six pediatric deaths.

For more information and locations to get a flu shot this year, call the DMC at 1-888-DMC-2500 or go to dmc.org.

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