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Beaumont Doctor Seeing Large Increase In Flu Cases

(CBS DETROIT) - Doctors in Metro Detroit say there's something going around, and its not COVID.

"First thing we think is COVID, so it was negative so the next thing I called my doctor, he said he says wow I just had the same symptoms," said Rochelle Robinson who just recovered from flu.

Robinson happy to be back in her Detroit office 2 weeks after developing cold-like symptoms. Those symptoms quickly escalating into something more serious.

"I never called in for work, I found myself having to call in for work because it got a little severe, my body start aching," Robinson said.

After receiving a negative COVID test Robinson's doctor told her it was the flu.

Something a handful of her co-workers also had, and according to doctors, cases in the area are way up.

"In March we have probably about 38 cases of flu and then last week there was about 245 cases of flu reported so quite an increase for this time of year which is highly unusual," said Dr. Asha Shajahan MD, Medical Director of community health at Beaumont Grosse Pointe.

Doctors say cases of the flu usually starts to dwindle down at the end of February, but cases this year up much higher than last year.

"The cases reported by the CDC there was 4.7 million cases this year of flu, 47,000 hospitalizations and 2,800 deaths and you might think ok that's a lot of numbers but in comparison to just last year there was only about 2,038 cases," said Dr. Shajahan.

Doctors say there are a few contributing factors for the increase, less masks wear, more large gatherings and fewer people receiving a flu vaccine, and for those who were vaccinated, the shot has only about 60% protection against the common H3N2 flu strain.

Doctors also say just because you receive a negative COVID test doesn't mean you can't spread the flu and other viruses.

"If you have fever if you have cough if you have body aches if you have cough and congestion it's either a virus or a bacterial invention and either way they are both contagious," Dr. Shajahan said.

Doctors say to stay home if you're ill or wear a mask when in public.

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