Updated Online - Monthly Reportable Diseases Summary - Featuring Influenza

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Monthly Reportable Diseases Summary 

Communicable diseases are reported to the Ottawa County Department of Public Health for surveillance and investigation to prevent their spread. The data in the monthly disease reports are subject to change, as they are based on current reports in the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS) The MDSS is a dynamic, continually active system; counts of disease are constantly changing as cases are investigated, confirmed as cases, or ruled out as not meeting the case definition. Each monthly disease report reflects this constant activity as the numbers may slightly fluctuate each month. Therefore, keep in mind that numbers in the monthly disease reports are NOT final and should be used only to generally monitor trends over time. Unknown, suspected, probable and confirmed cases of the reportable condition are included in the report. Questions on this report should be directed to Derel Glashower or Derick Chia.


Click for the latest communicable disease report.

The 2022-2023 influenza (flu) season is underway in West Michigan. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that circulates through the air. Influenza viruses are mainly spread from one individual to another through coughing and sneezing. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes. There are two main types of influenza viruses: Type A and B. The influenza viruses can cause mild to severe symptoms and life-threatening complications, including death, in children and adults.


The flu virus is different from a common cold and the coronavirus but can resemble some of the same symptoms, such as:

  • Fever 
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headaches 
  • Fatigue 
  • Stomach issues including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can rarely occur in cases involving young children. 


Flu Activity in Ottawa County

In Ottawa County, a total of 2,664 cases of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) were reported in September of 2022. Click here for weekly influenza trends in Ottawa County. It's important to understand the risks associated with influenza and reduce the chances of infection.

See the latest communicable disease report. 

flu chart

Who is at risk?

Anyone can get flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. Those individuals include people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. 


fight flu

Prevention and Treatment:

The best way to prevent the flu is to receive an influenza vaccination each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated for the flu annually. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body approximately two weeks after vaccination to help protect you from flu viruses circulating in the air. Other prevention strategies include:

  • Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Staying away from people who are sick
  • Staying home if you are sick

Flu antiviral drugs can prevent severe illness if taken early after the beginning of symptoms. 


For more information about influenza, visit:

Difference Between Flu and COVID-19

NFID - Flu (Influenza)

CDC - What You Need to Know - Influenza

Vaccinations are available at your local pharmacies and your health care provider. For more information visit miOttawa.org/Immunize or call (616) 396-5266. Check out OCDPH's seasonal influenza reports at miOttawa.org/Health/OCHD/data.htm/Influenza

You received this email as a subscriber to Diseases & Outbreaks or Disease & Health Reports. To find other Ottawa County health-related reports, please visit miOttawa.org/healthdata. For more Ottawa County topics or to make any changes to your subscriptions, please click here