Flu cases confirmed in Michigan

Workers give employees flu shots at Covenant Healthcare.

It has officially arrived.

The Michigan Department of Community Health confirms four cases of influenza in two southeast Michigan counties.

"Last year was bad, year before was not quite as bad so it's too soon to tell yet," said John McKellar, Health Officer of the Saginaw County Department of Public Health.

Health officials are telling people to brace for the illness that carries undesirable symptoms that include a high fever, chills, headache, body ache and cough.

They say there's a way to avoid catching the disease.

"Of preventable diseases in the United States it's one of the leading causes of death," said Karen Bush, Nurse Practitioner of Hospital Medicine at Covenant.

Nationwide, 78 people died last year from the flu.

"Given that history we encourage folks to get vaccinated now. his is the prime time. Six months to 18-years-old are important to be vaccinated as well as elderly folks who have chronic conditions. Pregnant women as well," said McKellar.

Doctors say temporary pain could prevent a future trip to the their office.

McKellar said, "we say why risk it."

On top of the flu shot, health officials say washing your hands prevents the spread of the flu.

For information on flu shot clinics, head to the Saginaw County Department of Public Health website.