As Peak Flu Season Looms, Hospitals Gear Up for Patients

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It seems like we hear the same thing every flu season - it's going to be bad this year.

Health officials said the boy was from Montgomery County.

ODH also reports 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.

There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations in OH since flu season began last October, according to ODH. However, the medical community has seen an uptick in positive flu cases in Hays County since past year.

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The dominant influenza A strain is H3N2, a nasty virus that tends to infect the elderly in greater numbers, with concurrent circulation of a B strain, a type that typically causes less severe illness.

Cases of the flu were close to epidemic levels at the end of 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

- If you do get the flu, go to the doctor for antiviral treatment to help reduce symptom duration.

These well intentioned gestures of good cheer coupled with children returning to school create the ideal storm scenario for spreading the flu even further. Any dogs with symptoms of a respiratory disease which include a cough, decreased appetite, nasal and eye discharge and fever should be kept away from other dogs for at least two weeks.

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The Department of Health Services says getting vaccinated is the most effective protection against influenza. There are no flu vaccine shortages across Ohio.

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.

A toddler in Lucas County has died from complications of the flu this week, becoming the second child to die from pediatric flu this season.

However, Murti said those figures are an underestimate of the actual number of cases, as most people don't seek medical attention for flu and, therefore, aren't tested.

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The antiviral medications work best when started within two days of the onset of symptoms; even after two days, these medications can be beneficial.

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