(WZZM) - The flu season, which began early, continues to get even worse.
More than half of the states in the nation have widespread activity and the number of cases continues to grow.
In Michigan, the CDC reports only regional activity of the flu virus. The Michigan Department of Community Health reported 252 confirmed cases of the flu in the state as of the beginning of January.
Three Michigan children have also died because of the flu. The youngest was six months old. Kent County also reported 242 confirmed cases of the seasonal flu on Wednesday.
"By confirmed cases, physcians run tests to confirm it is the flu," said Lisa LaPlante, spokesperson for the Kent County Health Department. "A lot of physicians don't bother to do the test because by the time people come into the doctor's office, they're already starting to recover from some of their symptoms."
The CDC and MDCH agree, the best defence against the flu is the flu vaccine. Kent County has more than enough doses in their central office in Grand Rapids. The department also offers the flu mist, but there are some who cannot have that because it is made with a live virus.
The flu vaccine protects against three strains of the flu. It takes about two weeks to take effect.
Both the CDC and the MDCH have more information about the flu on their websites. You can find links by clicking here and here. You can also visit the Kent County Health Department's website.
Doctors say if you or your child feel sick, stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. Also, see your doctor.