Influenza vaccine is still available at the Williams County Health Department as flu-like illness continues to increase and the number-of associated hospitalizations remain high. Influenza activity in Ohio is currently widespread.
Public health surveillance sources indicate increasing activity for influenza-like illness in outpatient settings. The percentage of emergency department visits with patients exhibiting fever and influenza-like illness symptoms has been increasing. Weekly Influenza-associated hospitalization numbers have been above the seasonal threshold for several weeks.
While vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu, other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading it include: washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
Flu season in Ohio generally lasts from October to May, and peaks around this time of year. The 2015-16 flu season a year ago did not peak until early March.
More information about influenza and flu activity in Ohio is available at www.flu.ohio.gov