Ohio flu hospitalizations jump to highest of season, health officials say

Ohio flu hospitalizations jump to highest of season, health officials say
832 hospitalizations solidify flu as Ohio’s primary infectious disease threat.

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The number of new influenza-related hospitalizations last week was the highest yet of the 2019-2020 flu season, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

From Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, a total of 832 people were newly hospitalized - an increase of more than 36 percent over the previous week.

“The current flu hospitalization numbers are deeply concerning,” ODH Director Amy Acton 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.”

The ODH says the second pediatric death of the flu season claimed the life of an 11-year-old girl from Lake County earlier this week. Ohio’s first pediatric flu death this season claimed a 16-year-old girl from Cuyahoga County.

To date, Ohio has reported 4,465 total influenza-associated hospitalizations for the 2019-2020 season. Ohio currently has no confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus, according to the ODH.

Health officials said the flu is especially dangerous for the very young and elderly, those with compromised or weakened immune systems, those with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women.

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

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