Ohio reports first child flu death of season
The flu has claimed its first Ohio fatality of the 2019-20 flu season. The victim was a 16-year-old girl in Northeast Ohio. Her death is being investigated by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
The number of hospitalizations for flu this season is almost double the number of hospitalizations from the same time period last year.
In the last week of December alone, there were nearly 400 new hospitalizations related to flu. Eighty-six of those were in Southern Ohio. Flu symptoms include fever, sore throat, headaches, and chills.
Doctors say the best treatment is prevention.
“Getting the flu vaccine is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu for everyone 6 months and older,” said Dr. Mark Hurst, Medical Director at Ohio Department of Health. “Flu hospitalizations could still be on the rise. You need to protect yourself, your friends and your family and get a flu shot now if you haven’t already.”
There are no reported flu vaccine shortages across Ohio.
ODH also stressed the importance of washing hands, using hand sanitizer, making sure to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, and staying home if you’re sick.
“If you are sick with the flu, stay home. Start the new year off right by helping to protect others when you are not feeling well,” Dr. Hurst said.
More information about flu and flu activity in Ohio is available at www.flu.ohio.gov.