Ohioans are still battling a long, nasty case of the flu along with the rest of country and health officials say the bug will be circulating for weeks longer.
Though hospitalizations in the state fell by 25 percent during the week ending Jan. 27, more people showed up at Ohio’s emergency rooms after a slight drop the week prior. Other health providers also saw more patients with flu-like illnesses, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Altogether, more than 8,600 hospitalizations in Ohio since Oct. 1 have been influenza-associated, according to state statistics, including more than 1,300 in a 10-county area of southwest Ohio.
Source: Ohio Department of Health
In Montgomery County, hospitalizations dropped 47 percent from the previous week, but like the state trend, more people sought medical care. The county has recorded about 620 hospitalizations, or more than 7 percent of those recorded in the state this flu season.
Seventeen more children died during the most recent week of reporting, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths to 53, which include three in Ohio.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every state with the exception of Hawaii and Oregon continue to report widespread flu activity. The number of states experiencing high influenza-like illness increased to 42 states plus and the District of Columbia for the week ending Jan. 27.
Flu viruses are likely to continue circulating for weeks, elevating the risk of transmission, according to the CDC, which continues to recommend influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months or older.