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832 newly hospitalized as flu becomes Ohio’s primary infectious disease threat

WOOSTER  The Ohio Department of Health reports that the number of new influenza-related hospitalizations last week was the highest yet of the 2019-2020 flu season. From January 26 to February 1, a total of 832 people were newly hospitalized.

This marks an increase of more than 36 percent over the previous week of flu reporting. To date, Ohio has reported 4,465 total influenza associated hospitalizations for the 2019-2020 season. Wayne County has seen a total of 20 influenza associated hospitalizations for this flu season.

“The current flu hospitalization numbers are deeply concerning,” ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH, said in a news release. “While we must remain vigilant about the serious risk posed by the 2019 novel coronavirus, Ohio’s primary infectious disease threat of the moment is flu.”

While the flu can be dangerous for any person, it is especially dangerous for the very young and elderly, those who are immune-compromised, those with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women.

Flu spreads from person-to-person via droplets from coughing, sneezing or close contact. Symptoms typically start one to four days after a person is exposed. Those symptoms include, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and tiredness.

“The best way to prevent getting the flu and passing it on to loved ones is to get a flu shot,” Dr. Acton said. “It’s not too late.”

You cannot get the flu from the flu shot, and it is recommended for everyone older than 6 months. If you have had problems with the flu shot before, talk to your medical provider about options available that might not cause problems for you. Because flu season continues through May, there is still time to get the vaccine.

You also can help prevent the spread of the flu and other infectious diseases by taking these precautions:

* Stay home when you are sick.

* Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching objects – this is how germs are spread.

* Practice good habits like disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress.

Learn more about the flu and precautions to take at

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