Allen County flu activity higher than rest of state


First Posted: 3/14/2014

LIMA — Allen County’s flu activity remains a bit higher than the state, public health officials said Friday.

Allen County had 12 hospitalizations in February and the flu remains active, Allen County Public Health Nursing Director Becky Dershem said.

Through March 8, the state had seen 2,972 influenza-related hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Much of the state is seeing minimal intensity of flu-related activity. The hospitalizations in Allen County concerned the state, but local health officials didn’t see anything that would connect the cases.

In January and much of February, the state saw hospitalizations higher-than the three-year average, but that has dropped and now the numbers are below the average. Flu season runs from October to May.

Earlier in March, Allen County reported a 50-year-old woman died as a result of the flu. No pediatric influenza associated deaths have been reported in Ohio for the 2013-‘14 season, according to the Ohio Health Department. The state does not track influenza-related deaths in adults.

Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to fight the flu. In addition to receiving the vaccination, it is important to protect yourself from the flu and other illnesses by washing your hands often and limiting contact with people who are sick. Flu vaccine is still available at Allen County Public Health and can still be effective.

For more information about seasonal flu vaccinations or to schedule an appointment, visit www.allencountypublichealth.org or call 419-228-4457 and ask to speak with someone in the department’s Nursing Division.

Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue. Young and middle-aged adults have been disproportionately affected with the flu this season.

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