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Flu claims life of Ohio child

10:24 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As flu-related hospitalizations continue to rise throughout the state, one Ohio child has reportedly died recently while hospitalized with the flu, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

No details are available about the death.

This is the first pediatric death reported in Ohio since the 2010-2011 flu season.

Meanwhile, 1,922 influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported this season, as of Friday morning. That number dwarfs the 86 flu-related hospitalizations from last season and the 175 from two seasons ago.

"Flu season got an early start in Ohio, but it's not too late to get your flu vaccination, said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Doctors realize many people hesitate when it comes to getting a flu shot. Many patients mistakenly believe the flu shot itself makes them ill.

Disease experts say that there are several reasons for this mistaken association, including:

1) It takes two weeks to build an immunity to the flu after vaccination, so you can still catch the flu in the meantime.

2) You can get a virus that is not in the flu vaccine and many non-flu viruses common in Ohio this time of the year have similar symptoms to the flu.

3) Everyone's body is different. Not every person will be 100 percent protected by vaccination, but doctors still insist that vaccination can reduce the severity of the flu even if you catch a strain not covered by the shot.

Major pharmacies still report that they have plenty of vaccines and anti-viral medications in stock.

Health officials continue to advise everyone to practice common-sense habits to avoid contracting these seasonal diseases.

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer if you cannot wash.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• If you get sick, stay home from work and keep sick children home from school or child care.
• Get plenty of rest.
• East a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
• Exercise regularly.

Weekly flu activity summaries are available at www.flu.ohio.gov.

WKYC-TV

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