H1N1 virus making a comeback…( Michigan )
by Sarah Blakely
Jan. 6, 2013
HANCOCK — The number of lives being taken by the flu this year is increasing day by day, some adults and some children, and hundreds are in hospitals. Six pediatric deaths nationwide have been linked to the flu this season, one an infant in the state of Michigan.
Western UP Health Department’s Public Health Medical Director, Dr. Terry Frankovich, said the nation’s most common flu strain this year is making a comeback from 2009: the H1N1 virus.
“In Michigan, it’s been about 91 percent of the flu’s tested so far have been the H1N1 strain that we saw first a few years ago when it was a brand new strain out and about,” said Dr. Frankovich. “This year, the flu vaccine has coverage for that strain as well.”
Seniors over 65, young children especially under six months of age, women who are pregnant, and people with chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD, or diabetes are at highest risk.
Dr. Frankovich said the vaccine typically takes about two weeks to become effective.
“If I get exposed yesterday and I get my flu vaccine today, it doesn’t have time to provide me with protection,” explained Dr. Frankovich. “So, the vaccine itself will not give anyone the flu, and that’s important for people to know, but it does need some time to provide protection.”