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Monday, November 29, 2021

CDC investigates flu outbreak at the University of Michigan

Federal health authorities are investigating a “large and sudden” outbreak of influenza among students at the University of Michigan, the university announced this week.

The Ann Arbor campus has reported 528 flu cases since October, the vast majority – 77 percent – among students not vaccinated against the flu. The spread of the disease has accelerated over the past few weeks, according to the university.

Experts from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited campus this week to help university staff and local health officials analyze the outbreak and evaluate the effectiveness of this year’s influenza vaccines.

Emily Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the university’s School of Public Health, which is helping with the investigation, said the current number of cases is significant, especially compared to those in recent years. She added that the university may be detecting more cases of the flu this year because students are looking for tests for symptoms that match those of Covid-19.

“This is a great opportunity to get a good early signal of which vaccine is effective right now, which strains are circulating, which can be predicted for the rest of the country,” said Dr Martin.

Nationwide, influenza infection rates remain low, but the CDC said this week that it received reports of its spread among college-aged adults. Outbreaks like the one at the University of Michigan represent the “first significant” event of this year’s flu season, the agency said in a statement. According to the agency, the flu season usually begins in October and can last until May.

The outbreak at the University of Michigan is the only investigation on the college campus currently being handled by the CDC, according to Keith Grusich, a spokesman for the agency.

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Dr. Martin said the university and local health authorities had approached the agency for help, adding that the investigation was a joint investigation.

Michigan has administered 2.2 million doses of influenza vaccine this year, representing about 22 percent of the state’s population, according to the state. Vaccination rates in each age group are lower than in the previous two years.

Data show that in Washteno County, which includes Ann Arbor, about one in three people have the flu vaccine.

Ms Grusich estimates that by the end of October, 43.2 million flu shots had been administered to people over 18 years of age in pharmacies and doctors’ offices. According to her, 62.4 million doses were administered over the same period last year.

Experts said last year’s flu season was mild compared to last year, as precautions people have taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including camouflage and social distancing, have helped prevent the spread of the flu.

Dr. Martin said the university heard from students who did not understand how influenza and Covid-19 vaccines might interact. She encouraged students to make both vaccines, stressing that they have definite benefits.

“One does not replace the other,” she said.

A recent study by the National Endowment for Infectious Diseases found that four in 10 Americans are unsure of or planning to receive a flu vaccine. About a third of 1,000 people surveyed said they were more worried about Covid-19 than the flu.

But experts warned that this year could be different and that little is known about the interactions between Covid-19 and the flu. The CDC recommends getting the flu shot for everyone 6 months of age and older.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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