Where are things as the CDC investigation continues

ANN ARBOR, me. – The University of Michigan flu outbreak now has 760 cases as of October 6th. A CDC response team arrived last week and are still investigating the outbreak.

Every week, Local 4 contacts Minute Clinics in southeast Michigan to gather information for the What’s Going Around report.

The Minute Clinic on South State Street in Ann Arbor was the first to report a dramatic increase in flu cases. Nurse Sean Sullivan said a student first alerted her to the fact that the flu is spreading. He said that many students are coming to be tested.

“Ordinarily, kids would just stay home – where kids in the current environment are a little more concerned about symptoms, so they come to rule out the flu vs. COVID,” Sullivan said.


It’s not the first time the university has seen an early flu outbreak. There was an outbreak in 2019 before COVID hit Michigan.

Sullivan was surprised to learn that the CDC was sending a team to investigate.

“It’s a good example to study the flu shot and see what’s going on in general, and it’s a good predictor of what the rest of the flu season will be like,” Sullivan said.

The university has reported that 77% of the flu cases to date have occurred in unvaccinated students. Sullivan said the outbreak increased interest in preventing the flu.

“On Saturday, I got almost all the flu shots,” said Sullivan.

The University of Michigan cases have been identified as a strain of H3N2 influenza. This is worrying as we tend to have more hospital admissions and deaths in years when this strain of flu is prevalent.

The H3N2 strain also tends to mutate faster than other strains, which means people may have lower immunity from previous years or the flu vaccine may be less accurate. That remains to be seen, but the CDC team is looking closely at this.


There’s never a good time for a flu outbreak, but right before the holidays is one particularly bad.

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