The State of Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services has issued it's annual warning to residents to get their flu shots. While flu activity in the state at the moment is low, it's beginning to ramp up in other states, according to their press release.

Influenza is not the “stomach flu” and not just a “bad cold.” It is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can lead to extreme sickness and even death. The 2018-2019 flu season saw an estimated 647,000 hospitalizations and up to 61,000 deaths resulted from influenza infections nationwide. In Michigan, four children died from flu-related complications. However, only 46.1 percent of Michiganders reported receiving a flu vaccine last season, below the national rate of 49.2 percent. - MDHHS

“Residents should receive their flu vaccine today to have optimal protection throughout the flu season,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “The flu vaccine is the most important tool available to prevent yourself and your families from getting the flu. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.”

Medical professionals also say washing your hands, cough into your sleeve and avoid any contact with sick people is still another good way to not come down with the flu.