The Ohio Department of Health reports the flu is now widespread throughout the state.
The state says there were 287 new cases of confirmed flu associated hospitalizations across Ohio during the first week of January. That makes the flu widespread, as it is in most states at this point.
There were 157 hospitalizations the last week of December, mostly in eastern Ohio. And the state health department says there are many cases of flu that are not reported because they don’t require hospitalization.
There have been no flu-related deaths so far this year. There are antiviral medications that can reduce the severity of the flu, which work best when started within two days of getting sick. But the health department says the best line of defense is still getting an annual flu shot.
The flu is peaking a bit earlier in Ohio this year than last, when it didn’t hit its high point till March.