Michigan health officials confirm teen died from flu

Michigan Department of Community health confirms 4th child has died this flu season

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:35:13 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 09 2013 04:52:41 PM EST
Joshua Polenha
DETROIT -

The Michigan Department of Community Health confirmed Wednesday that a 15-year-old from the central region of Michigan has died from the flu.

Joshua Polenha, a 15-year-old student at Lake Fenton High School, is the fourth child to die from the flu this season. Officials say the teenager had no underlying health condition.

Previously the MDCH announced the flu-related deaths of a 6-year-old from southwest Michigan an infant from southwest Michigan and an adolescent from central Michigan.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches.

Citizens can call their physician, local health department, or utilize the Health Map Vaccine Finder at http://flushot.healthmap.org to find nearby influenza vaccination clinics.

Flu can be spread to others up to about six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth. To avoid this, wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. The flu usually comes on suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness, and at times lead to death. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

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