wdiv logo

University of Michigan flu surge: Expert weighs in on what’s happening, what can be done

More than 300 students tested positive for the flu last week

A team of investigators is headed to Ann Arbor to analyze the spread of the flu following a major surge on campus.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A team of investigators is headed to Ann Arbor to analyze the spread of the flu following a major flu surge on campus.

Emily Martin is an associate professor of epidemiology. She said because very few people got the flu last year there is less data to analyze.

“I think we have a complicated puzzle to solve this year,” Martin said.

Read: Health experts want to know more about flu at University of Michigan

As cases climb, researchers are looking at the strains that are circulating and gauging the effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine.

“I think our communities at large have been so COVID focused for so long, that this is kind of an opportunity to get this back on the table and say, ‘Remember the flu? I know it was gone last year, but it’s definitely back this year,’” she said.

In early October, about 500 University of Michigan students on campus got the flu. Numbers are increasing. Last week along, more than 300 students got the flu.

“It’s really challenging to try to compare those numbers to previous years because you know, a lot more people are coming in for testing,” she said. “But it does mean that we’ve got a lot of cases of the flu traveling around the area.”

Students Local 4 spoke with said they’re planning to get the flu shot before traveling home for Thanksgiving. Epidemiologists are urging people to get vaccinated.

Click here to learn more about where you can get a flu vaccine.

Read: 2 shots: Answering questions about getting COVID, flu vaccines at same time


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.