COLUMBUS — Flu-related hospitalizations are exceeding the five-year average for this time of year, according to information provided this week by the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials from both agencies are urging residents to get their annual flu shot. The CDC recommends everyone aged 6 months and old get a flu shot as soon as possible as it is the best protection against seasonable flu viruses.
It takes about two weeks for a flu shot to take full effect, officials said. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May. Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Women who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately, state health officials noted.
Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers and some schools.