Cases of influenza are growing rapidly across Michigan, including in the Upper Peninsula, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declares a national flu epidemic, with widespread outbreaks in 22 states, so far. The CDC reports that nationally 15 children have died already this season of complications from the flu, which is peaking much earlier than normal in December instead of February or March. National officials say about 90-percent of flu cases so far this year have been the H-3-N-2 subtype, which does not match the current vaccine. Earlier this month, UP Health System Portage imposed visitor restrictions and yesterday the UP Health System Marquette did the same. Jennifer Smith of the Michigan Department of Community Health says it still makes sense to get a flu shot now, especially if you in a high-risk group…including children and the elderly.