COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As COVID-19 cases rise in Ohio, doctors are also concerned about another illness that comes around this time of the year—the flu.

Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, says he usually doesn’t see flu-related hospitalizations until late January or February. However, this year that’s all changed.

He says many of these confirmed flu cases are coming from students.

“In our country, we are seeing some unusual outbreaks of Influenza A at college campuses. University of Michigan during the big game was going through a major outbreak of Influenza A,” he said.

Dr. Gastaldo says it’s the type of flu strain that has the potential to lead to more hospitalizations.

“The CDC is reporting that most of what we’re seeing us influenza A type H3N2.” he said. “In previous years, when we have seen that that usually correlates with a significant hospitalization season in influenza.”

As of this week, the state of Ohio is seeing more than 70 flu cases. A number they normally don’t see in the month of December.

“As of the last ODH update, there are 76 confirmed cases of influenza hospitalizations in the state of Ohio.” said Gastaldo.

Dr. Gastaldo is urging Ohioans to get their flu shot as soon as possible to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.