Date Sent: 10/12/2016 04:28 PM EDT
Sender: Michigan Health Alert Network
Subject: State lab confirms first Michigan influenza cases of the season
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the first two influenza cases confirmed by the Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) for the 2016-2017 influenza season, which began October 2, 2016. Influenza A/H3 was confirmed in both individuals who are adults from SE Michigan. Due to these results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will count Michigan’s flu activity on the national map as "sporadic," the lowest of four influenza activity categories tracked. BOL has identified additional influenza A/H3 positive specimens throughout the month of September, and we expect more influenza confirmations in the coming weeks.
Nationally, influenza A viruses have been reported more frequently since the beginning of July and CDC indicates that the majority of the influenza viruses collected from the U.S. during the summer months have been characterized as being similar to the vaccine components for the 2016–17 influenza vaccine.
MDHHS recommends PCR or culture confirmation on early season influenza samples until influenza is actively circulating in your community at which timerapid antigen testing reliability improves. Facility respiratory outbreaks, influenza-associated pediatric deaths and suspect novel influenza cases should be promptly reported to your local health department. Also, reporting of severe or unusual presentations of influenza (encephalitis, pulmonary hemorrhage, pregnant or newly postpartum women with severe complications or ICU hospitalization, etc.) is highly encouraged. Updated guidance documents and specimen submission information for the 2016-2017 season are available online at www.michigan.gov/cdinfo. MDHHS and CDC recommend an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and best way to protect against influenza. Influenza surveillance questions can be directed to the MDHHS CD Division (517 - 335 - 8165), and to the MDHHS Immunization Division (517 - 335 - 8159) for vaccine-related inquiries.