April 22, 2018

Ohio Department of Health reports second pediatric death in the state

10 January 2018, 11:09 | Winifred Adams

Effectively battling bug

Administering a flu vaccination to a patient is Terri Buratczuk clinical director of the Tri City Health Partnership a free health clinic in St. Charles that provides services for those who are uninsured or underinsured

Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne tells KNSS News, "We encourage people to get their flu shots in August and September, and flu season can go through as long as April; and so it's important to still get in and get a flu shot because we haven't had our peak yet, and flu activity is picking up all over the United States, Kansas, and Sedgwick County".

With the flu season in full swing, the USA may be in for one of the sickest winters in years, Combetta pointed out.

"No vaccine is 100 percent effective", said Carolyn Kaltenberg, a nurse and immunization program manager with Grand Forks Public Health.

ODH also is reporting more than 1,700 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December.

Last flu season OH saw seven pediatric deaths.

In Cuyahoga County, there have been two flu-related deaths, including a 70-year-old woman.

It's uncertain exactly how long the flu will stick around, but Baber said the vaccines don't expire until the end of June.

The strain of the virus that has been predominant this flu season (H3N2) is more unsafe for the elderly and young children, Johnson said.

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We are still two weeks away from the peak of the flu season.

Each year the formula for the vaccine is developed based on last year's flu virus.

Dr. Michael de Lota, family medicine physician at ARC Kyle Plum Creek, said he believed the spike in cases stems from fewer people getting the flu vaccine.

"Even if it's not a good match and even if you do get sick, you have a milder version of the disease, so hopefully you don't have to be hospitalized ... and you may not expire", he said.

These well intentioned gestures of good cheer coupled with children returning to school create the flawless storm scenario for spreading the flu even further.

To be effective, the drugs must be taken in 12 to 48 hours from onset of symptoms, which include cough, muscle aches and fever.

A toddler in Lucas County has died from complications of the flu this week, becoming the second child to die from pediatric flu this season.

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