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Flu Cases increasing in Knox County

The Knox County Health Department reports that confirmed cases of influenza
have increased significantly in Knox County during the past few days with several
hospitalizations.
The 2017-18 flu season in Ohio and nationally is looking similar to what was seen
during the 2014-15 flu season which at the time was the most severe flu season in
recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Ohio, more than 2,100 people have been hospitalized so far this year compared
to 350 during the same time period last year. The Ohio Department of Health
reported the state’s first pediatric death due to influenza on Wednesday.
CDC says that flu activity in the U.S. increased sharply during the first week of
January, and is now categorized as widespread in 46 states including Ohio. Flu
activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with
cases typically peaking between December and February.
The Knox County Health Department issued a health alert to local healthcare
providers to advise them of the increased flu activity and recommended treatment
from the CDC.
So far, influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the most common flu viruses
circulating this season, according to CDC. H3N2-predominant flu seasons have
been associated with more severe illness, especially among children and adults age
65 and older. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses has been around 30
percent. Vaccine effectiveness against other circulating flu viruses has been about
60 percent for H1N1 viruses, and around 50 percent for influenza B viruses. A
study done on flu vaccination said that it can significantly reduce a child’s risk of
dying from influenza.

– MORE –

News Release
For more information, contact Pam Palm,
740-507- 6533 or ppalm @knoxhealth.com 11660 Upper Gilchrist Rd. Mount Vernon, OH 43050
PH 740-392- 2200 Fax 740-392- 9613
www.knoxhealth.com

Page 2 Flu cases increase significantly in Knox County

Health officials say it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The CDC recommends that
everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot as it is the best protection
against seasonable flu viruses. It takes about two weeks for a flu shot to take full
effect. The health department still has flu vaccine as do several local pharmacies
and doctor’s offices. To schedule a flu shot at the health department, call 740-399-
8008.
Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches,
headache, chills and fatigue. Although most people fully recover from the flu,
some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu
can sometimes be fatal. People who think that they may have the flu and are
pregnant, have an underlying medical condition or who are extremely ill should
contact their healthcare provider.
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.

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