3 adults die from flu in Michigan

Michigan health officials urge flu shots as young adults die from illness

DETROIT - There are three new confirmed deaths from influenza in Michigan, and the ages of those involved are sure to grab the attention of many.

The Oakland County Health Department says the victims were 23, 25, and 29 years old. Sadly, that's on point with the trend state health officials are seeing this flu season.

"The majority of cases that we're seeing so far involve healthy, young adults who generally have very low flu vaccination rates. We are concerned this year that the majority of cases are impacting healthy adults very severely," said Angela Minicuci, of the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Adult flu deaths are not officially tracked in Michigan, but several deaths have been confirmed. The state says one infant has also died from the flu.

In the 2012 - 2013 flu season, health officials say just 9 percent of people in Michigan ages 19 to 24 years old were vaccinated against the flu. In people ages 25 to 49 years old, 11 percent were vaccinated.

The dominant strain this flu season is the H1N1 virus, which has been shown to strike more younger, healthy people than other flu strains. This year's flu shot does protect against the H1N1 virus.

"Because roughly 90 percent of the cases so far have been H1N1, we highly recommend getting a flu vaccine as soon as possible as it will provide the best protection against getting sick with the flu this season," said Minicuci.

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