Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

4-year-old boy dies from flu in Ohio

4-year-old boy dies from flu in Ohio

There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations since flu season began last October.

The H3N2 virus caused a majority of the cases, a strain that's especially unsafe because it affects the elderly and those with weak immune systems.

The health department said a one-year-old boy from Lucas County, Ohio has died from the flu.

Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot as soon as possible as vaccination is the best protection against seasonable flu viruses.

"We've had a lot of emergency room visits with the flu, urgent care visits, increased clinic visits", said Dr. CDC says that flu activity in the US increased sharply during the first week of January, and is now categorized as widespread in 46 states.

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. "You can still get the flu, no vaccine is ideal".

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However, "influenza is a very serious illness, so if you're at high risk or have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, can not drink fluids, or have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough, seek emergency medical care immediately", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Department of Health Services. However, flu cases typically peak between December and February. "But if you do get vaccinated and get influenza, hopefully, your symptoms will be less severe". The vaccination is available at most healthcare providers' offices, local health departments and retail pharmacies.

"Even if it's not a good match and even if you do get sick, you have a milder version of the disease, so hopefully you don't have to be hospitalized ... and you may not expire", he said.

If you have the flu, Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Tamiflu are useful...along with getting plenty of liquids and rest.

Use a tissue to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing; avoid using your hands, but if you do, immediately wash or use antibacterial cleanser to help prevent germs from spreading.

"No vaccine is 100 percent effective", said Carolyn Kaltenberg, a nurse and immunization program manager with Grand Forks Public Health. They are most effective if they are taken within the first two days of contracting the illness. They can also reduce the symptoms.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs.

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