DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The U.S. has seen a sharp rise in influenza with 48 states reporting widespread cases and hospitalizations including Ohio and most of its surrounding states.
This is according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control, which collected statistics through Feb. 9.
The number of influenza-related hospitalizations in Ohio was well below the five-year average tracked by the Ohio Department of Health through most of the winter but have shot up during the first two weeks of February.
The most alarming case being the death of a Mason elementary school student on Wednesday, Feb. 20 who had been diagnosed the day before with the flu and strep throat.
National numbers had been tracking only local activity in most states until after the new year when the number of reports began to spike. There have been 34 pediatric deaths this flu season across the country, and six during the week ending Feb. 9.
Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services told 2 NEWS the state reported 10,579 culture-confirmed cases since flu season began.
“It’s still widespread activity, and we tell people the flu is serious and possibly deadly,” Beth Fisher said, the public information officer with the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services. “It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine, and we recommend people get it. Otherwise, we recommend people wash their hands regularly and stay home from work if they’re sick.”
Eighteen adults have died from influenza in the state with one recorded pediatric death.
While the state is reporting widespread influenza activity, the numbers are far lower than the record-breaking 2017-2018 season.
Indiana reported 31 deaths this flu season, with no pediatric deaths, but the disease has become more widespread. The latest data from Feb. 3-9 had the largest weekly number of influenza reports this season.