(CBS DETROIT) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding Michiganders to get flu vaccines after Michigan’s first flu outbreak of the season occurred at the University of Michigan.

The outbreak included more than 525 cases of influenza A (H3N2) among University of Michigan students, and public health officials are investigating it.

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As COVID-19 cases are rising again in Michigan, health officials are concerned about how this might affect health systems if both flu and COVID-19 cases rise at the same time.

“As we head into respiratory virus season, it is important to take every mitigation measure we can to prevent outbreaks of the flu, RSV, and COVID-19,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “Wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and getting vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19 will help prevent the spread of illness. COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines can be administered at the same time, and we encourage all eligible Michiganders to get theirs as soon as possible.”

MDHHS data that influenza vaccine administrations are down by about 26% this year compared to this time in 2020.

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During an average flu season, such as 2018-2020, there were an estimated 39 to 56 million flu cases, with 18 to 26 million medical visits and a half million hospitalizations.

Last year the flu season showed low flu activity, which is likely due to the social distancing and masking measures that were taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To learn more about influenza, visit Michigan.gov/flu.

COVID-19 and flu vaccines are available now at local health departments, physician offices, and pharmacies across Michigan. Visit Vaccine Finder to find a location near you.

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