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First pediatric flu death reported in Ohio

10 January 2018

A 4-year-old boy in Dayton died Saturday after being hospitalized with the flu, according to Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County.

It seems like we hear the same thing every flu season - it's going to be bad this year.

Residents suffering from flu-like symptoms can take solace they're not alone after Hays County officials estimated more than 300 confirmed cases of the virus at the end of December.

ODH also reports 1,750 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December.

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From October 2017 through January 2018, more than 65,000 people were treated for the flu in Tarrant County hospitals and John Peter Smith Health Network Clinics.

On social media, Medical City Lewisville educated the public on how to differentiate between the common cold, also normal in the winter weather, and the more serious flu virus.

Even the flu-related deaths can be undercounted because they are not always attributed as such.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity in the USA increased sharply during the first week of January, and is now categorized as widespread in 46 states. "We usually say over and over again that the season would peak around the fifth or sixth week of the year, so in early February". "But if you do get vaccinated and get influenza, hopefully, your symptoms will be less severe". Vaccine effectiveness against other circulating flu viruses has been about 60 percent for H1N1 viruses, and around 50 percent for influenza B viruses.

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This year's vaccine is said to be 10%-to-30% effective.

"No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu".

The Department of Health Services says getting vaccinated is the most effective protection against influenza. Both are indicated by coughing and a runny nose, but the flu is separated by headaches, chills, a possible fever and extreme fatigue. The flu shot used the same components as as Australia's vaccine during their flu season that ended in August.

ODH also recommends frequently washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs and staying home when you're sick.

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First pediatric flu death reported in Ohio