This flu season (2018-2019) is not over yet — it lasts from October to May — but the number of reported cases are down from last year.
So far, the Fayette County Public Health has had 50 cases reported to them and nine flu-related hospitalizations. As of Feb. 25, there have been 3,178 total flu-related hospitalizations in Ohio overall. During the same timeframe last flu-season, there had been a total of 11,915 hospitalizations reported. According to Cindy Throckmorton, a Public Health registered nurse, during the 2017-2018 flu season, there were 311 cases of Influenza A and 173 cases of Influenza B reported to the FCPH.
It is possible there have been more cases of the flu in the county. In an email, Throckmorton explained, “A case does not have to be reported to the Ohio Department of Health unless the person is hospitalized.”
Most of their reported cases come from Fayette County Memorial Hospital. This means any positive tests at doctor offices or clinics aren’t necessarily reported.
Symptoms of the flu can include: chills, fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, headache and fatigue.
The Ohio Department of Health offers the advice to wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, utilize alcohol-based sanitizer. They also suggest that keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth are good ways to lessen the germs being spread.
Those who do fall ill are advised to stay home from work and to keep ill children home from school.
More information can be found at www.flu.ohio.gov.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @kenanipel