The first reported death from pediatric flu in the 2017-2018 season was of a four-year-old boy in the Dayton-area.
As News 18 has previously reported, state health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in IN is now at 25. The district has also been sending parents messages, by telephone, text, email, and on social media, suggesting ways to help minimize exposure to the flu. "Our hearts go out the family", says Jon Woltmann, MD, infectious disease department at Dayton Children's Hospital.
ODH also is reporting 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.
There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations in OH since flu season began last October, according to ODH. Rodriguez explained that this can happen because the influenza virus is constantly evolving, presenting a moving target for vaccine makers.
In addition to vaccination, public information officer Alexandra Reed said consistent hand washing and staying home if you are sick are the keys to preventing the virus' spread. New healthy individuals with a normal immune system are more protected from older people with impaired immune function.
"High fever, body aches, generally feeling very exhausted", Dr. Cannon said.
That's probably an underestimation of the true number because health care providers aren't required to report cases to the health department, and many people don't seek health care, Scherzer said. One factor is invincibility, where people never had the flu or gotten a flu shot, which makes them believe they don't need one. Even with the flu vaccine, he says people are still getting sick. In its advisory, the government has said that H1N1 is also a type of Seasonal Influenza and is a self- limiting viral disease.
"We definitely saw a large increase in the last couple of weeks here in Denton County, much more so than the previous year and earlier than previous years too", Rodriguez said. Two strains of the virus are affecting the population - the dominant and more severe influenza A strain (H3N2) which mostly impacts the elderly, and an influenza B/Yamagata strain which affects both adults and children. "People are bad about coughing into their hands and then they don't wash their hands, and then, of course, we transmit the flu".