Patients flock to doctor's office amid flu outbreak

CRESTVIEW HILLS, KY (FOX19) - Ohio health authorities revealed on Friday that a child has died from flu complications.

This is the first flu-related child death in the state. There were no child deaths reported in Ohio last year. Nationwide, the flu claims about 36,000 lives every year, being mostly senior citizens and children.

As a result, many parents have been bringing their kids to the doctor, in the midst of one of the worst outbreaks in several years.

"We're seeing a lot of kids with coughs, fevers. Could be cold or flu-like symptoms," said Dr. Mark Deis, a pediatrician of Pediatric Associates in Crestview Hills, KY.

Those symptoms are what brought 14-year-old Sam Hacker into the doctor on Friday.

"I've got a lot of sinus drainage. It's making it hard to talk, so I kind of got the shakes, and it's been pretty bad," revealed Hacker.

Hand washing and flu shots are great, but Dr. Will Sawyer, of Sharonville Family Practice, urges his patients to avoid touching their 'T-Zones'.

"The T-Zones are mucous membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth, which are the only portal of entry into the human body for all flu and flu-like illnesses," said Sawyer.

Sawyer says more often than not, the flu is spread by the patients themselves, by direct contact with eyes, nose and mouth.

For more information on ways to fight the flu, visit the Ohio Department of Health's website.

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