4th flu-related death in Kent County

(file photo)
(file photo)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent County has reported its fourth influenza-related death for the season.

The most recent person who died was over the age of 50 who had additional known medical conditions, according to the Kent County Health Department.

Tests confirmed the person had influenza A, though the precise strain has not yet been determined. The three people who previously died had the H1N1 strain of the flu.

As of Jan. 23, there have been 522 reported flu cases in Kent County this season, according to the health department.

There have been three flu-related deaths in Kalamazoo County. All of the people who died were over the age of 50. There has also been one flu-related death in Van Buren County.

The H1N1 strain of influenza is classified as widespread in West Michigan by the Centers for Disease Control and the flu is an epidemic nationwide. Experts say the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccination. The CDC recommends that vaccination for everyone over the age of 6 months.

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Contact your local health department about flu shots:

Allegan County Health Department: 269.673.5411

Barry Eaton District Health Department:  517.543.2430

Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency:  517.279.5400

Berrien County Health Department: 269.927.5623

Calhoun County Health Department: 269.969.6370

Ionia County Health Department: 616.527.5241

Kalamazoo Health and Community Services: 269.373.5200

Kent County Health Department: 616.632.7200

Mecosta, Newaygo and Oceana County: (see website)

Montcalm County:  989.831.5237

Muskegon County Public Health: 231.724.6246

Ottawa County Department of Public Health: 616.846.8360

Van Buren and Cass County District Health Department:  269.445.5280

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