Ohio Department of Health reports state's first pediatric flu death of season

Commons SOURCE

Commons SOURCE

Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne tells KNSS News, "We encourage people to get their flu shots in August and September, and flu season can go through as long as April; and so it's important to still get in and get a flu shot because we haven't had our peak yet, and flu activity is picking up all over the United States, Kansas, and Sedgwick County".

COLUMBUS, Ohio- There have been two flu-related deaths in children in Ohio this season.

"Flu is hard to predict", said ODH Medical Director Dr. Clint Koenig.

ODH also is reporting 1,750 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December.

So far this season, at least 3,927 people nationwide have been sent to the hospital with confirmed cases of the illness.

It's relevant to note that these are just the reported numbers - they could be much higher, as not everyone seeks medical attention when they have the flu. However, the medical community has seen an uptick in positive flu cases in Hays County since previous year. While the flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, people who still get sick may have milder symptoms. This is especially true for those most likely to suffer complications of the flu such as the elderly, chronically ill, and young children.

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We are still two weeks away from the peak of the flu season.

"The virus we're giving them is dead, it's virtually impossible to get the flu from a vaccine", de Lota said.

Each year the formula for the vaccine is developed based on last year's flu virus. Normally people who have the flu have a combination of fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

The Department of Health Services says getting vaccinated is the most effective protection against influenza. The flu shot used the same components as as Australia's vaccine during their flu season that ended in August.

In addition to vaccination, public information officer Alexandra Reed said consistent hand washing and staying home if you are sick are the keys to preventing the virus' spread.

"Flu is hard to predict", said ODH Medical Director Dr. Clint Koenig, in a statement.

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