Three hospitalizations for flu-related symptoms, including two in the last week, have been recorded in Clark County so far this flu season.
The numbers may seem small, however, according to the Clark County Combined Health District, it’s higher than the county’s five-year average. No flu-related deaths have been reported in Clark County this flu season.
“We have investigated a total of three influenza-associated hospitalizations in Clark County this flu season, one in week 41 and two in week 46,” said Clark County Combined Health District Epidemiologist Anna Jean Petroff. “Only influenza-associated hospitalizations are reportable to the health department.”
Week 41 was Oct. 7 to Oct. 13 and week 46 was Nov. 11 to Nov. 17.
There were 308 cases of flu recorded in Clark County in 2018, according to the Clark County Combined Health District. That’s two times more than there was in 2017, according to the same statistics.
Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. And while most people fully recover after getting sick, some experience severe illness and the flu can sometimes be fatal. People who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition, or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
No flu-related hospitalizations have been recorded in Champaign County so far this flu season, according to the Ohio Health Department.
Flu season in Ohio begins in October and lasts through May. And while the start may be slow, officials are warning residents to take precautions during the holiday season when people tend to be in close proximity to others.
The health district encourages residents to get a flu shot to prevent the spread of the virus.
”Vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu,” the district said. “Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers. Clark County Combined Health District is providing flu vaccines by appointment but walk-ins are accepted if there are open appointments.”
Other effective ways to avoid contracting the flu include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing your hands often or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth – germs are usually spread when a person touches something contaminated and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practicing other good health habits like disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods can help prevent illness, the health district said.
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Flu is a common viral infection that can easily spread from person to person. Typically, a healthy person can fight off the flu with rest but it can be dangerous for young children and the elderly.
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