FOX 2 - Now is the time to get your flu shot
There's already cases of the flu in Detroit and predictions for how many more cases are on the way aren't good. So what informs that estimation? Look down south - way down south.
In Australia, the flu season has hit particularly hard by the flu and it's possible those same trends could be on the way for Michigan. The Centers for Disease and Control aren't waiting to find out, urging everyone who can to get their flu shot.
Earlier Thursday Oakland County's Health Division announced that it has had the first death of the flu season, with the victim being a 69-year-old man.
But nowhere is a flu shot more important than in kids.
"When we look at the vaccine effectiveness, for children, it's really good. About 61 percent to 65 percent of children - this vaccine is effective," said Dr. Esper of the Cleveland Clinic's Children center.
Current recommendations are that any child over 6 months should be getting an annual flu shot.
Esper said we often think of the flu as a minor illness; one that's no big deal. But in fact it's one of the top causes of infection-related deaths of children in the U.S., including last year when more than 100 died from the flu.
Those most at risk from the flu are children under the age of 2, those with asthma, neurological problems, heart and lung diseases, and those with compromised immune systems.
"It's not an immediate effect, it's not like you just gave a medication and you're now protected," Esper said. "It takes four weeks for your immune system to come up. And so, since we know the flu starts as early as November, we want to make sure everybody is protected by September and October."
Despite these necessities, a large number of American adults are skeptical of vaccines. Only about 43 percent got it last year.