(CBS DETROIT) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now encouraging all residents to protect themselves against influenza and its potentially life-threatening consequences by getting vaccinated.

The 2018-2019 flu season saw an estimated 647,000 hospitalizations and up to 61,000 deaths resulted from influenza infections nationwide.

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“Residents should receive their flu vaccine today to have optimal protection throughout the flu season,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

Here are three actions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to precent the spread of influenza:

First, take time to get yourself and your family vaccinated.

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Second, take everyday preventive actions such as covering your cough, washing your hands and avoiding close contact with those who are sick to stop the spread of germs.

Third, take flu antiviral medications if prescribed by your doctor.

Although flu activity in Michigan is still at low levels, high levels of activity have been observed in other states.

For more information on influenza vaccines and flu activity visit here.

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