Ohio’s first pediatric flu death reported in Cuyahoga County

Ohio’s first pediatric flu death reported in Cuyahoga County
                        

The Ohio Department of Health reported a 16-year-old girl from Cuyahoga County is the state’s first pediatric flu death of the 2019-20 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, ODH 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 it’s the midst of flu season, it is still not too late to get a 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 one does get sick. Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

The Wayne County Health Department has flu vaccines available during its walk-in clinics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-10 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, tips to help one stay healthy include washing hands often with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitizer when unable to wash; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or coughing or sneezing into one’s elbows; avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth as germs are often spread this way; getting plenty of rest as sleep is shown to help one’s body fight off illness; and when sick, staying home until free of fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications.


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