Area hospitals take precautions as statewide flu hospitalizations rise

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - At ProMedica Toledo Hospital, the flu has doctors and nurses on high-alert.

"We have been very, very busy this week," ProMedica chief nursing officer Paula Grieb said.

Since Monday, Grieb said the number of people admitted for the virus has spiked.

"Our emergency departments are very full, our floors are very full, our intensive care units are busier as well," Grieb said.

The Ohio Department of Health reports the flu hospitalized 994 people last week alone, a 19% increase from the week before. The statewide total of flu-related hospitalizations this season is 5,457, which doubles the number reported during the same week last year. Grieb said the virus is taking its toll on people of all ages.

"Very young and very old — those are really the two populations," Grieb said. "So we see surges in both of those."

The state reports two children have died this year because of the flu. It has Port Clinton's Magruder Hospital taking extra precautions by banning those under 12 from visiting patients and waiting areas.

Wood County Hospital is also erring on the side of caution by requiring unvaccinated workers to wear surgical masks.

With flu-season in high gear, Grieb is urging you take care of yourself and to seek medical care if you or a loved one becomes sick. As always, she recommends a flu shot as your best defense against the virus.

"If you have not received you influenza vaccine, it is not too late," Grieb said. "Flu season will continue for many more weeks."

The flu is commonly caused by coming in contact with droplets from a sneeze or cough, according to state health officials. Once symptoms set in you could experience fever, cough, aches and tiredness. Flu season is expected to last well into May.