Fourth Flu-Related Death in Kent Co.

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jan 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-27 20:21:26-05

flu-clinic-signGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County Health Department confirmed a fourth flu-related death in the area Monday.

According to the latest data from Jan. 23, there have been 522 reported flu cases in Kent County this season.  Four people, all over the age of 50, have died.

The three previous cases were H1N1. The initial test in this death confirms influenza A, but not the strain, according to a release.

“The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age,” the health department said in a release. “The influenza vaccine this year is highly effective protection against the flu, including H1N1.”

It takes 10-14 days after the vaccine to develop immunity, which the department says is why people often wrongly claim that they got the flu from the flu shot.

“Multiple studies have confirmed that the flu vaccine does not cause influenza,” the release says.  “People can, however, become ill from exposure to contagious people during those 10-14 days before their immunity develops.”