Deadly flu takes its toll throughout the region

6:41 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND --  According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 3,434 people hospitalized this flu season since October.

Northeast Ohio has been hit the hardest with 15 deaths related to flu in Cuyahoga County. Thirteen of those victims were over the age of 65, but two of them were between 40 and 64. 

Stark County health officials say 11 people died from flu-related illness, two of whom were between ages 40 and 64. The rest were over 65. 

Summit County reported seven deaths, two in Lorain County and one in Lake County. 

Health officials say these numbers may actually be lower because many people might have had chronic conditions, as well as the flu, and flu wasn't listed on the death certificate.

While flu season in Ohio peaked the first week of January, cases are now going down. Fourteen of the deaths in Cuyahoga County happened in the last three weeks.

However, health officials anticipate a second peak in late February and early March so they say there's still time to get the flu shot.

This season is shaping up to be one of the worst in a decade.  In 2009-2010 flu season, Cuyahoga County reported 17 deaths. During the H1N1 outbreak in 2010/2011, the county reported 12 deaths.


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