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Berrien County officials take precautions to prevent flu deaths

BENTON HARBOR, Mich – To kick off the flu season the Berrien County Health Department is sharing flu prevention advice.

Yearly flu related deaths usually fall between 12,000 to 56,000 deaths, but according to the CDC the 2017 – 2018 flu season saw approximately 80,000 deaths, the highest it has been in four decades.

The 2017-2018 flu season also saw an increase in flu related deaths in children.

According to the CDC last year’s flu season saw approximately 180 flu related deaths in Children, two of those being in Michigan.  

“There are precautionary measures that everyone can take, aside from vaccinations we want people to remember to wash their hands, remember to stay home when you’re sick and make sure you are not a spreader, don’t be a spreader of the flu and just covering your coughs and sneezes” Berrien County Health Department Communications manager Gillian Conrad said.

Along with a rare strain of the flu called H3N2 circulating only about half the country’s population gets the flu vaccination each year.

“This vaccine might not be just for yourself it’s for your grandma, for your little niece, it’s for your neighbor, it’s for the people that you work with, the people that you go to school with” Conrad said.

According to Berrien County Health Department officials along with other precautionary measures it’s important that as many people in the Michiana area get vaccinated as possible to build up “herd immunity.”

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