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Fenton Flu-Related Deaths Raise Concerns Among Residents

Two Fenton residents have died after experiencing flu-like symptoms in the last week.

Two recent deaths in Fenton linked to flu-related symptoms have area residents a little more on edge about the illness.

after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Last week, Fenton resident and father of five Kirk Beauchamp, 44, died three days after becoming ill with flu symptoms.

Twenty-nine states, including Michigan, are now reporting high Influeza-like illness activity, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Flu season has hit hard and early this year. As of last week, 285 confirmed cases had been reported statewide, including three pediatric deaths, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"We had some early (outbreak) years in '03 and '07, but this is the earliest I can remember," Bob Swanson, director of the division of immunization at the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) told the Detroit Free Press.

Health officials have encouraged people to receive a flu shot, but some Fenton residents don't agree. Many Fenton Patch readers recently posted their opinions on the Fenton Patch Facebook Page.

Diana Clark Davis posted, "Won't get a flu shot, too much bad stuff in them. But we are super careful about where we go and about washing our hands - a lot!"

"My daughter had it all last week. She had it confirmed by the doctor it was the flu through a test. Very scary!" said Tiffany Grove. "She was the only one in our house who didn't get the flu shot. The rest of us who did didn't get sick."

"I have received the flu vaccine for years, except one, which was the year I had the flu bad," posted Melissa Sementelli.

Find out where to get a flu shot in Fenton.

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Kristin Polk January 09, 2013 at 12:15 PM
These flu-related deaths are tragic! It hits our community hard. I'm so glad to see people are taking more precautions. The one we forget is to please stay home if you are sick.
C.C. January 09, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Kristen is absolutely right . If you're sick stay home for the sake of others as well as yourself. One sneeze travels 20 feet, multiply that through a ventilation system. When sick stay away from others. Most of all rest and fell better.
Jason Alexander (Editor) January 09, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Have you or will you get a flu shot? Why or why not?
Amanda Fegan January 09, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I just wanted to send out some prayers to both families today as they cope and as Polehnas go through visitation and services.
Heather Idoni January 09, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Two things I'd like to comment on: 1. How can we be sure that "the flu" is what is responsible for these deaths? "Flu-related symptoms" could be indicators of something else as a cause. 2. I never had the flu in my life until the year I received a flu shot. Never again.
Rebecca LeMay January 09, 2013 at 04:08 PM
I went to my doctor and got a flu shot today. There may be some bad things in them but I feel the benefits clearly outweigh the risks in this case. My son is attends pre-school in the Lake Fenton District. Ensuring that my family gets a flu shot is protecting not only myself and my son but it is protecting all of the students and teachers that we are in contact with. Staying home when you are symptomatic will protect others however it is possible to spread the virus before you experience symptoms. Get a flu shot! Protect yourself and those around you!!
Laurie January 09, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I always get one. I had the flu twice years ago and it pretty much keeps you in bed for a week or more. I've gotten one almost every year since (shortages aside) and have never had it since. My daughter also gets one due to health issues. My husband should but often doesn't. I think too often people think they have the flu but do not and do not realize what the flu (influenza) is. Stomach bugs are not the flu nor are bad colds. With the flu you have high fever, aches and chills with shaking, cough etc. It's like being hit with a Mack truck and you are generally totally out of commission for days, if not weeks. When I had it I couldn't do anything but sleep, go to the bathroom and back and have people bring me food in bed. It's pure misery. And I was young and otherwise healthy.
Shawn C January 09, 2013 at 05:33 PM
My employer requires all employees get a flu shot. Last year it was strongly recommended, this year it was required. I've not had a bad reaction to it, and have not had the flu.
Nate January 10, 2013 at 09:50 AM
I am curious if the people that died had their flu shot. I haven't had a vaccine since I was a child and haven't been sick in 15+ years. Everyone around me can be puking their guts out and I won't get it. I think requiring a flu shot is bullshit.
Laurie January 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM
The flu (aka influenza) does not include vomiting in most cases, especially adults. Read up on influenza. What most people think of the flu is not the flu the vaccine protects against. It's influenza which can be very deadly, especially for the elderly and those with chronic illness. Or, unfortunately as we have seen, even in the healthy at times.
Rebecca LeMay January 10, 2013 at 01:03 PM
The boy who passed away in Fenton did not get a flu shot however they can' t say whether that would have prevented it.
Lucyeleven January 12, 2013 at 04:30 AM
I was to late getting my flu shot and caught the flu from my husband. He came home and we kissed hello and that is all it took. He didn't know he was going to start feeling that it was coming on until a few hours later that evening. I know it was from him because I had not been out for days. I feel very bad for the ones that lost loved ones because of the flu it is such a tragedy and heart break. As soon as I knew I was not contagious I went to Rite Aide and got my flu shot that I was told by the person that administered it will last a year. I sure wish I would have had my shot before I got sick, almost 102.5 fever, my chest felt like it was on fire and became very hard to breath and ached all over. That lasted for days, I had to pay for my shot because of no real health insurance, $30.00 and it was worth every penny I paid. Go get your flu shots people believe me it's not worth this horrible sickness.

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