OH health officials report more than 2000 flu hospitalizations

GP practices told to order two different types of flu vaccines amid efficacy fears

Health officials: 13 people have died from the flu this season

She did not have the total number of flu cases in La Salle County, but said there have been no reportable flu-related deaths.

The Knox County Health Department is offering free flu vaccinations.

Health experts say the influenza season in the United States is proving to be more severe than usual, with about twice the number of people reporting flu-like illness to their doctors compared with the same time a year ago.

According to ODH, the start of this year's flu season in OH appears to be similar to the start of the 2014-2015 fly season when there were 50 more hospitalizations on the last week of the year.

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In the report, 46 states, including MI, are reporting widespread flu activity, which is up from 36 states the week before.

Doctors blame an aggressive strain of the influenza virus, H3N2, and a flu vaccine that's proven to be only about 30 percent effective against it. The majority of cases have been from adults ages 65 and above.

"Sometimes, the variation doesn't go the way we think it's going to", explained Rogers, "so it doesn't offer as much of a protection as we would like".

Last year, IN had one reported flu-related death. "Our census has been high through the holidays, but not just due to the flu season", said Linda Burt, vice president of Quality and Community Services. The Knox County Health Department says most people with the flu do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. "And flu shots are still available at the health department for those who want them. We recommend it particularly for folks in the high-risk groups - young children, the elderly, pregnant mothers and those with chronic illnesses".

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In recent weeks the flu has spread rapidly across California and the entire nation, impacting hospitals and emergency departments, including Santa Barbara, Goleta Valley and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospitals.

"The earlier you get treated, the better", Rasnake said.

Suffoletto said it's crucial to take the small steps, such as covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing your hands.

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