Ohio reports first pediatric flu death

Submitted by WCHD on Fri, 01/10/2020 - 9:25am

Wooster, Ohio - The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reports that a 16-year-old girl from Cuyahoga County is the state’s first pediatric flu death of the 2019-2020 flu season. According to the ODH, there have been 1,003 flu-associated hospitalizations reported in the state so far this flu season, compared with 555 reported during the same time last year. Flu activity in Ohio typically peaks between December and February. With at least half of Ohio’s regions seeing a steady increase of flu activity and with lab confirmed influenza cases over the last three weeks, OHD has upgraded Ohio’s flu activity level to widespread.

Wayne County has been fortunate so far this flu season with only having two flu associated hospitalizations; however, based on preliminary data for next week’s flu activity report, Wayne County’s flu activity is increasing.

Although we’re in the midst of flu season, it is still not too late to get your flu vaccine. Flu vaccination is still the most effective way to prevent flu illnesses for individuals 6 months and older. While the efficiency of the flu vaccine can vary, being vaccinated against the flu can reduce the severity of illness if you do get sick. Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue.

The Wayne County Health Department has flu vaccine available during our walk-in clinics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. In addition to getting a flu vaccine, tips to help you stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer when you are unable
  • to wash.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or cough or sneeze into elbows
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread this way.
  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep is shown to help your body fight off illness.
  • When you are sick, stay home until you are free of fever for 24 hours without using fever reducing medications.