Coronavirus? Health officials see far bigger risk in flu

Influenza virus. Image produced from an image taken with transmission electron microscopy. Viral diameter ranges from around 80 to 120

The Ohio Department of Health reported last week that there have been more than 4,400 hospitalizations due to flu in Ohio during the 2019-2020 flu season.

Details on the death, including the child's name and location, were withheld to protect the family's privacy.

The Dominion Post reports the 5-year-old child died Monday at Ruby Memorial Hospital's emergency room in Morgantown.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family and friends", said Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR's Bureau for Public Health. "Such a loss is always tragic".

A child in West Virginia has died from the flu.

On average, health officials say three flu-related pediatric deaths are reported each year in Virginia.

Kendra Findley, Administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology, said the number of flu cases only includes the people who went to the hospital and got diagnosed from a doctor.

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Health officials say the flu has been widespread in the Commonwealth since December 2019. "Even at this time of year, if you haven't had the flu shot, you should make an appointment and get it".

The Oregon Public Health Division reported 842 positive tests for Influenza A and Influenza B statewide the week ending February 7.

Connie DeBenedet, Hamilton's infectious diseases program manager, says the current infection rate as of February 10 sees 500 lab-confirmed influenza A cases - the more serious strain of the virus - and approximately 120 lab-confirmed influenza B cases, which is "typical" for any given year over the last decade.

Infants under 6 months can not receive the influenza vaccine.

The best way to protect them is to have everyone who will have contact with the infant receive a flu vaccine and to limit an infant's exposure to large groups of individuals. If students are on the Office Visit Plan, they can get the flu shot at no cost. Early treatment with an antiviral drug can help prevent flu infections from becoming more serious.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

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