A team of investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is descending on Michigan to investigate a massive influenza outbreak on the University of Michigan campus.

Health officials and staff from the School of Public Health and Michigan Medicine research team have identified the strain causing the outbreak to be a subtype of influenza A called H3N2.

By the Numbers:

  • 529 people diagnosed since October 6
  • 27.2% of flu tests positive the week of Nov. 1 (198 new cases)
  • 37 % of flu tests positive the week of Nov. 8 (313 new cases)
  • 77.1 % of cases are in individuals who have not received this year's flu vaccine

Dr. Juan Luis Marquez is the Medical Director with the Washtenaw County Health Department. He tells the University Record that the outbreak may be indicative of what's to come as we get deeper into the flu season.

"While we often start to see some flu activity now, the size of this outbreak is unusual," Dr. Marquez said. "This outbreak doesn't necessarily have an immediate impact on the broader local community, but it does raise concerns about what the flu season may bring."

The CDC's objective will be to evaluate the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine and risk factors for spread of the virus through questionnaires and specimen samples.

Holiday Travel Concerns

Health officials are concerned that the timing of the outbreak is occurring right before many on-campus students prepare to travel to their homes throughout the state and beyond for Thanksgiving.

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