Health department bracing for flu season - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Health department bracing for flu season

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

Flu season is upon us and although it is just beginning, the Center for Disease Control is already reporting widespread infection rates in several states including Alabama, Louisiana and New York. Texas has been the hardest hit, reporting at least five deaths.

Local health officials are urging you to get your flu shot, that's because, the number of flu cases are on the rise. The Ohio Department of health says so far this flu season, nearly 350 flu-associated hospitalizations have been reported- a majority of those cases were in northeast Ohio.

"We're definitely seeing it in Ohio, just not as many as some other pockets yet.", says Dr. David Grossman, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department

The number of states reporting seasonal flu activity jumped from four to 10 last week. In Texas, 5 people have died from the H1N1 strain, also known as swine flu. The strain made headlines back in 2009, the CDC says infected 52-million people and may have killed hundreds of thousands worldwide.

"We had to have a whole vaccine program for it quick LUCAS county did extremely well in. That's been incorporated in the subsequent flu vaccines and it is part of this years.", says Dr. Grossman

Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot and get it now because everyone is vulnerable.

"The early signs of it appear to be more younger people right now than older people, even though our teaching is that more older people are likely to get sick.", says Dr. Grossman

Health officials say it's all about the basics. Be sure to always wash your hands and wash your hands often. Flu is usually the worst in January or February.

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