Two Pediatric Flu Deaths Confirmed in Michigan, First of the 2016-2017 Season

April 1, 2017

Lansing, MIApril 1, 2017 – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently confirmed the first two influenza-associated pediatric deaths of the 2016-2017 flu season. Influenza claims the lives of children every year across the United States, which is why MDHHS is reminding residents that it’s not too late to get vaccinated for protection this season.

The reported deaths involve one child from northern Michigan and one child from western Michigan. Although this flu season has been moderate in Michigan so far, flu viruses are circulating in the community and can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death. MDHHS strongly recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine.

“The flu vaccine this year is a good match to those viruses circulating in our communities, meaning it offers more protection than it may have in recent years,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “It is not too late to get vaccinated. And remember, if you or your child is sick, stay home to help protect others.”

More than three quarters of the positive influenza specimens confirmed by MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories this flu season have been an H3N2 virus. This virus can cause severe flu infections in children, as well as in young- and middle-aged adults. Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu illness.

Vaccine is especially important for persons at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, persons of any age with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and need to be protected by vaccination of their close contacts, including parents, siblings, grandparents, child care workers, and healthcare personnel.

In the 2015-2016 flu season, only 42.2 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, putting Michigan in 42nd place in the country. MDHHS urges residents to make sure they protect themselves and their families against getting flu this season.

There is still plenty of flu vaccine available. To find flu vaccine near you, call your healthcare provider, local health department, or check the Health Map Vaccine Finder at http://flushot.healthmap.org. For more information about the flu, visit www.michigan.gov/flu.

Tax Professionals Warned of e-Services Scam

April 1, 2017

Lansing, MIApril 1, 2017 – The Internal Revenue Service, Michigan Department of Treasury and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to beware of phishing email scams claiming to be from IRS e-Services and of schemes in general as the April 18 deadline nears.

The IRS, state Treasury Department and the tax industry warned that this time of year is the high season for identity thieves to attempt to steal sensitive data from tax professionals. All tax preparers and their employees must be on guard against phishing activities.

The IRS noted a particular surge in the past 24 hours related to a phishing email scam that seeks to steal practitioners’ usernames and passwords for IRS e-Services.

The subject lines on these scam emails vary but they generally are related to e-Service account closures. Some examples include:

  • Account Closure!
  • e-Service Account is Blocked
  • Few Hours to Close Your Account
  • Your Account is Closed
  • Your Account is Terminated
  • 24Hrs to Block Your Account

Links in the scam email send practitioners to a fake e-Services login page where thieves can steal the user’s credentials. It is “signed” by “IRS gov e-Services.”

The thieves are keying off on IRS efforts to increase protections for e-Services, including recent IRS efforts to encourage tax professionals to revalidate their identity to avoid delays accessing their e-Services account.

E-Services account holders should beware of schemes to obtain their password information. If an account has been closed because of failure to revalidate, users should contact the e-Services Help Desk to have it reopened. Users who are in doubt about the validity of emails should never open a link or attachment, but instead go directly to www.irs.gov/eservices. Users also should sign up for Quick Alerts, e-News for Tax Professionals or other subscription services to receive information directly from the IRS.

Calendar – Films/Documentaries – Documentary Film “Life” Screening – Apr. 4

April 1, 2017

Marquette – In honor of Autism Awareness Month, the documentary film “Life” will be shown on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Peter White Public Library.

Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist Ron Suskind, this documentary is a coming of age story about a boy and his family who overcome great challenges by turning Disney animated movies into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood.

Tables will be available for those who wish to enjoy a take-out meal while they watch the film. There is no admission charge thanks to sponsorship by the Friends of the Peter White Public Library. For more information, visit www.pwpl.info or call 226-4318.

Calendar – Groups – Tasty Reads Book Group Meeting – Apr. 4

April 1, 2017

Marquette – Tasty Reads, a book group for readers who like to cook, will focus on “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais on Tuesday, April 4 at noon in the Shiras Room of the Peter White Public Library.

Described by The New York Times Book Review as “Slumdog Millionaire meets Ratatouille,” it tells the story of the Haji family who deal with tragedy by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumiere, France. Share your thoughts about the book and an Indian recipe inspired by it.

New members are always welcome. For more information, visit www.pwpl.info or call 226-4303.

Calendar – Education – Reading Group for “Citizen: An American Lyric” Meeting – Apr. 4

April 1, 2017

Marquette – Northern Michigan University’s 2017 Diversity Common Reader selection is “Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine. Carlyn McManis will host a reading group for “Citizen: An American Lyric” on Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Shiras Room of the Peter White Public Library.

The event is free and open to the public.

Calendar – Education – Michigan Tech Preschool Enrollment – Apr. 4

April 1, 2017

Houghton – Michigan Tech Preschool Enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year will begin on Tuesday, April 4 at 9 a.m. for alumni families at the Michigan Tech Preschool, 2000 Woodmar Drive in Houghton.

Enrollment for incoming families begins Monday, April 10 at 8:30 a.m. For more information or to download enrollment forms, please visit michigantechpreschool.org.

Calendar – Youth – 2’s and 3’s Story Time – Apr. 4, 6

April 1, 2017

Marquette – 2’s and 3’s Story Time will be offered on Tuesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 6 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Community Room of the Peter White Public Library.

Children ages 2 and 3 will enjoy stories, finger plays, songs and activities. The event is free. For more information, call 226-4320, visit www.pwpl.info or find Peter White Public Library Youth Services on Facebook.

Calendar – Elder Care – Creating Confident Caregivers Workshop Begins in Marquette – Apr. 4

April 1, 2017

Marquette – A “Creating Confident Caregivers” workshop will start on Tuesday, April 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Marquette.

Creating Confident Caregivers is a program in select regions of Michigan, for family caregivers of persons with dementia and/or memory loss. Creating Confident Caregivers is a six-session workshop led by trained dementia care specialists. This university tested program provides participants with information, skills and attitudes to manage stress and increase their effectiveness as a Caregiver.

This is a six week workshop which meets once each week on Tuesdays. If you are interested in participating in this workshop, contact UPCAP at 1-800-338-7227, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.upcap.org.

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