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Health and Medicine

Ohio influenza cases rising
Hundreds hospitalized before peak months

Mark Urycki
In The Region:
Not everyone will be heading back to work today after the holidays.  Hundreds of Ohioans are laid up with the flu, which is ahead of its usual schedule. WKSU’s Mark Urycki has details
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In the first week of December, the Ohio Department of Health reports 140 Ohioans were hospitalized with influenza symptoms.   The following week that rose to 169 and by the third week 326 Ohioans were hospitalized with the flu. 

Department spokeswoman Shannon Libby says it's early to see this much flu activity, with cases typically going up in January or February.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 863 Ohioans have been hospitalized with influenza this season, compared with just 65 by this time last season.

The Canton Health Department says they’re seeing record numbers with more than 100 hospitalizations spread across all age groups. 

Even some who were vaccinated have come down with the bug,  something health officials says is not unusual.  They say oits still the best way to avoid influenza.  After that frequent hand washing is the most effective.  Alcohol rubs will not kill the virus.

The Ohio Health Department says the States surrounding Ohio are reporting increased influenza activity.  And nationwide,  some 29 states report widespread cases of the flu. 

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