GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- The Kent County Health Department says 230 people have reported becoming sick with the flu and the season has not even hit its peak.
Health officials say the current number of reported flu cases may not even give the full picture of this flu season. Epidemiologists estimate just eight percent of flu cases are reported, so the actual number of illnesses could top 2,800.
The health department is urging families to get vaccinated before their children head back to school on Monday.
"Many adults have this misconception that the flu vaccine is just for kids, the elderly, or people who have medical conditions," says Adam London, administrative health officer for the Kent County Health Department. "Even healthy adults need protection. The CDC reports an increase in severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults due to influenza A (H1N1) this year. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age."
The Kent County Health Department offers flu vaccinations ranging from $25 for the injectable three strain vaccine, $29 for the preservative free three strain vaccine, $30 for the preservative free four strain vaccine or $33 for FluMist nasal spray (a live, preservative-free, four strain vaccine). Children with little or no insurance may be eligible for getting a vaccine at lower cost. The vaccines are available at the health department's five locations, including:
- Fuller Clinic (700 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids, MI)
- Kentwood Clinic (1620 44th St. SE, Kentwood, MI)
- North County Clinic (4388 14 Mile Rd. NE, Rockford, MI)
- Sheldon Clinic Sheldon Complex (121 Franklin SE, St. 130, Grand Rapids, MI)
- Wyoming Clinic (852 47th St. SW, Wyoming, MI)
For more information or to make an appointment, call (616) 632-7200 or visit www.stickittotheflu.com