(4 Minute Read) Ohio – The Ohio Department of Health is reporting a continued increase in influenza-related hospitalizations.
There were 994 hospitalizations across the state from February 2nd to February 8th, marking a new high for the 2019-2020 flu season and a 19 percent increase over the previous week.
The latest report brings the total to 5,457 flu-related hospitalizations since the season began at the end of September. Additionally, the statistics are nearly double the hospitalizations reported during the same week of last year’s flu season.
Adult flu deaths are not reported to ODH; however, two Ohio children, girls ages 11 and 16, have died from the flu this season.
The virus can be especially dangerous for people who are very young or elderly, people with compromised or weakened immune systems, people with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women. If you are in one of these categories and develop flu symptoms, you should seek medical care right away.
Officials advise the following to help prevent flu, caused by contact with respiratory droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person:
– Stay home when you are sick.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
– Wash your hands often with soap and water.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching objects.
– Practice good habits, including disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress.
Symptoms typically start one to four days following exposure and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue.