GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - It appears the flu outbreak in West Michigan is starting to wane. The Kent County Health Department is reporting a 43% decrease in new flu cases this week.
There were 127 confirmed new cases of the virus this week, compared to 221 last week. This follows a trend in other states, as reported by ABC News.
Below is a news release from the Kent County Health Department:
The confirmed number of new flu cases reported this week in Kent County was 127, bringing the season total to 590 cases. This reflects a 43% decrease in the number of new cases this week over last week. Emergency Departments (ED's) in Kent County also reported a slight decline in the percentage of visits due to flu-like illnesses last week. The week ending January 5, 2013, 13.5% of patients in ED's were complaining of flu-like illness. The week ending January 12, 2013, 11.8% of visits were due to flu-like illness. Still, the Kent County Health Department is recommending vigilance and promoting prevention guidelines.
"We are certainly seeing a decrease in the number of new confirmed cases this week," says Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. "While this new data is promising, we should not let down our guard. The flu is unpredictable and we could see resurgence. It's not too late to get vaccinated, and we urge everyone to practice preventive measures, such as regular hand washing, to stop the spread of flu." Adults and children with the flu should stay home from school or work until they have been able to keep a normal body temperature for 24 hours, without a fever-reducing medication.
The flu can cause serious complications in pregnant women, people who have weakened immune systems, in the very young and in the elderly. The single best way to protect against the flu is by getting vaccinated. Infants six months of age or younger cannot get a flu vaccine, so it is recommended that family members and people who care for them receive a vaccination. The Health Department has injection ($25) and nasal mist ($32) available. Check out our website, http://www.stickittotheflu.com/ to learn more about flu vaccinations, prevention tips and treatment, or call (616) 632-7200 to make an appointment.