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Confirmed flu cases down, health officials warn people to keep guard up anyway

Robert Couse-Baker
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Maybe people are washing their hands and staying home when they’re sick. Maybe they’re not even going to the doctor’s office; toughing it out at home on the couch instead.

We don’t know why exactly, but the number of confirmed flu cases in Kent County this week dropped 43-percent from the week before. The number of people visiting the emergency room with flu-like symptoms has also decreased.

Statewide numbers are less dramatic, but also down from a peak in December.


“If you haven’t gotten a vaccination yet, get it,” Lisa LaPlant, a Kent County Health Department spokeswoman said. “There is a possibility that we could see resurgence of flu,” she adds.

She says the flu season typically last between nine and fifteen weeks, and warns people they shouldn’t let their guard down just yet.

“Kids just went back to school last week so there’s a tendency to start spreading germs some more,” LaPlant said.  State health officials say 4 children have died from the flu in Michigan this year.

“We just want to make sure that parents know, just because there has been a decrease this week doesn’t mean we’re in the clear,” she explained.

Doctors aren’t required to report confirmed cases, so the number is only a sample.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Enterprise Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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