SOUTHFIELD (WWJ/AP) – Michigan health officials say two children have died from the flu as statewide cases rise.
An infant from southwest Michigan and a child from mid-Michigan died. No ages or hometowns were available.
As of December 20th there were 149 confirmed cases of the flu in Michigan.
Health officials say Michigan’s current caseload is typically not seen until the end of January or February.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches.
State health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot.
The Michigan Community Health Department says a person who has the flu can spread viruses – that means they are contagious. Adults may be contagious from 1 day before feeling sick to up to 7 days after getting sick. Children can be contagious for longer than 7 days.
In addition, these steps can help prevent influenza and other illnesses:
–Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
–Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then put your used tissue in a wastebasket. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.
–Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers in your bag and car, when soap and water is not available.
–Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
–If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Practice healthy habits
–Get regular exercise, enough rest, and eat healthy balanced meals.