Flu Outbreak at University of Michigan causes CDC Investigation


CDC investigates flu outbreak at University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus

The CDC is helping investigate a massive flu outbreak at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus, after over 500 cases have been reported.

The first positive flu case was reported Oct. 6. and grew to 528 cases of influenza were diagnosed over the past five weeks at the University of Health Service (UHS).

77 percent of the cases were among individuals who did not get a flu shot this year. Federal health experts will research the outbreak to learn more about how the flu is spreading and vaccine effectiveness as the nation heads into the flu season.

UHS officials saw flu cases skyrocket on campus over the past two weeks, with 313 cases reported the week of Nov. 8. The cases were identified as influenza A (H3N2) infections. The research into the cases comes ahead of holiday break when many students on campus will travel back home for Thanksgiving. Now officials are calling upon the entire community to get the flu shot as soon as possible. 

A team of CDC investigators will be on campus this week and will evaluate flu vaccine uptake, vaccine effectiveness, and risk factors for spread through data analysis, questionnaires and sample collection of patients at UHS. 

The research could be crucial and shed light on the potential risks of being infected with flu and Covid-19, especially after last year's low levels of flu activity. It also shows Michigan residents are behind in getting their flu vaccine compared to years prior. 

So far, over 2 million in the state have gotten their flu shot this season. U.S. health experts have pleaded for Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and the flu to avoid a multi-pandemic.

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