State flu-re­lated hos­pi­tal­iza­tions have spiked

Lo­cal health care providers ad­vise those of age to get vac­ci­nated.

Dayton Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Kaitlin Schroeder Staff Writer

Flu sea­son is get­ting started and some lo­cal peo­ple have al­ready been hos­pi­tal­ized.

The lat­est re­port from the Ohio De­part­ment of Health said as of Nov. 3 there have been 53 flu-re­lated hos­pi­tal­iza­tions in the state.

That in­cludes three cases in Mont­gomery County, two in But­ler County and one in Warren County since the state started track­ing cases for the sea­son Sept. 30.

Lo­cal health care providers are ad­vis­ing ev­ery­one six months or older should get a flu shot to re­duce their risk of get­ting the virus, which can cause not just ill­ness but also led to the death of around 80,000 peo­ple in the U.S. last sea­son.

Flu vac­cines — which take about two weeks be­fore fully ef­fec­tive — are rec­om­mended to be re­ceived be­fore the end of Oc­to­ber but it is not too late to re­ceive a flu shot.

“You are not only pro­tect­ing your­self but pro­tect­ing those around you that you might come in con­tact with, whether that’s a lit­tle baby or your grand­par­ents or some­one with a com­pro­mised

imm u ne sys­tem,” Ja­son Briscoe, di­rec­tor of phar­macy op­er­a­tions at Drug Mart, said ear­lier this year.

Last sea­son there were 17,397 flu-re­lated hos­pi­tal- iza­tions in Ohio, dou­bling the amount from the pre­vi­ous sea­son and more than four times the num­ber from 2015 to 2016 when there were 3,691 cases.

There were four chil­dren in Ohio who died from the flu last sea­son. Adult flu deaths are not tracked by Ohio De­part­ment of Health.

Along with get­ting vac­ci­nated, Pub­lic Health — Day­ton & Mont­gomery County of­fi­cials have said it is im­por­tant to take other pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures like hand wash­ing and stay­ing home from work or school if sick.

Flu vac­cines are now avail- able at lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing doc­tors’ of­fices, phar­ma­cies, Pub­lic Health and ur­gent care cen­ters. This year the nasal spray op­tion of the flu vac­cine is also back af­ter sev­eral years of be­ing out of cir­cu­la­tion.

If you have an egg al­lergy, the CDC says even peo­ple with se­vere re­ac­tions like hives can now get the vac­cine, though should get it in a med­i­cal of­fice set­ting and not at a phar­macy.

If a per­son does get the flu, the FDA ap­proved this month the first generic ver­sion of Tam­i­flu, mak­ing flu treat­ment cheaper. Like the branded ver­sion, the generic is for treat­ing pa­tients within 48 hours of when flu-like symp­toms ap­pear, like fevers, chills, cough­ing, mus­cle aches, con­ges­tion, headaches and fa­tigue.

The flu vac­cine is about 40 to 60 per­cent ef­fec­tive, but even if a per­son still gets the flu af­ter be­ing vac­ci­nated, they typ­i­cally have less se­vere symp­toms than if they had been vac­ci­nated.

The time from when a per- son is ex­posed and in­fected with flu to when symp­toms be­gin is about two days, but can range from about one to four days, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

Peo­ple with flu are most con­ta­gious in the first three to four days af­ter their ill­ness be­gins. The CDC said some oth­er­wise healthy adults may be able to in­fect oth­ers be­gin­ning one day be­fore symp­toms de­velop and up to five to seven days af­ter be­com­ing sick. Some peo­ple, es­pe­cially young chil­dren and peo­ple with weak­ened im­mune sys­tems, might be able to in­fect oth­ers with flu viruses for an even longer time.

Sev­eral lo­cal peo­ple have al­ready been hos­pi­tal­ized from flu this sea­son.

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