WASHTENAW COUNTY (WWJ) – Health officials in Washtenaw County are reporting their first flu-related deaths of the season.

The Washtenaw County Health Department confirms two people have died of complications from the flu reports WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee.

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Both patients were over age 65 and had severe underlying health conditions.

Although this age group and young children tend to be more susceptible to complications from the flu, most of the hospitalizations and deaths Michigan has seen so far have occurred in younger healthier adults.

Susan Cerniglia says it’s a reminder for every to get immunized.

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“A lot of people may think ‘well, I don’t get it and I stay pretty healthy,’ you could still contribute to passing that around in the community – so the more folks better immunize, the better we can protect our whole community,” she said.

“Healthy working adults, probably folks in their 30s, 40s and 50s are somewhat less likely to get vaccinated – so that’s the reason this year for a little bit more emphasis for us, anyhow, on vaccination,” said Cerniglia.

Meanwhile, state health officials expressing concern over how many people are hospitalized from serious complications from the flu.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says most of these cases are young and middle-age adults, which isn’t what’s typically seen during flu season. Angela Minicuci with the state health department says, there’s no better time to get the shot, to protect yourself and people around you.
“Particularly we are concerned about people who are going to be near children – those 6 months of age and younger who can’t get a flu shot – if you don’t have yours and you are in that young adult population – there is a good chance that if you do get the flu, you’ll transmit it to someone who can’t get vaccinated,” said Minicuci.

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Michigan’s confirmed death toll from influenza is now 8 adults and one child for this flu season.