Increasing cases of flu this season - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Increasing cases of flu this season

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If you're feeling sick with the flu, they're asking you to please stay home. If you're feeling sick with the flu, they're asking you to please stay home.
The Ohio Department of Health has released that just under 4,000 cases of flu related hospitalizations have been reported in Ohio since October. The Ohio Department of Health has released that just under 4,000 cases of flu related hospitalizations have been reported in Ohio since October.

Around this time of year, it seems like everyone is getting sick - and while that's a normal thing for flu season, the number of people getting sick and staying in the hospital this season is anything but.

The Ohio Department of Health has released that just under 4,000 cases of flu related hospitalizations have been reported in Ohio since October.  Locally, Jeanetta Francy with the Allen County Health Department says that they've seen 62 hospitalizations in the county alone this season, and with the ODH reporting that the first pediatric flu death for 2017 - 2018 has happened in Montgomery County, the flu is something to take seriously.

"It’s really important to make sure to make sure that you’re taking preventative measures - so the number one way is to get the flu shot; you have to be six months of age or older to get the flu vaccine, and it’s really important to get it so you can protect others that are under six months of age who cannot get that shot," said Francy, who is an Epidemiologist for the Allen County Health Department.

In response to all of those people getting sick, Mercy Health St. Rita's has officially made the decision concerning people that are thinking about stopping by and seeing a loved one - if you're feeling sick with the flu, they're asking you to please stay home.

"The biggest thing is that if we are asking those people to stay home if you’re having any signs of coughing, sneezing, fever, diarrhea, runny nose, and any of those under the age of 14 just to refrain from visiting our facility at this time," said Cory Unverferth, Manager of Infection Prevention for Mercy Health St. Rita's.

It's been a busy time for the hospital with all of the people stopping by the emergency room with flu like symptoms.  Physicians say that the emergency room doesn't have to be your first stop if you're feeling sick, and that there are options to turn to.

"Coming to the ER is perfectly fine, but there’s always other places that you can go - primary care, doctor's office, and urgent care are always great options, and obviously if you’re feeling really sick, you should come to the ER to get checked out," said Dr. Sampath Medepalli, a physician for Mercy Health St. Rita's.

Physicians say that the best ways to get over the flu and keep it from spreading are to wash your hands often, keep hydrated, and cover your cough.

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