CUYAHOGA COUNTY-- The flu is in full swing, and it's packing quite a punch.
"It was miserable," said Michael Grace, "I was in bed. I was aching. I was in pain. It was horrible."
Ten people in Cuyahoga County have died from the flu in the last three weeks; with another 640 hospitalized, said Richard Stacklin, an epidemiologist for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
“Last year we only had one flu-related death," Stacklin said, adding, "Flu season has been elevated compared to the last two flu seasons."
Most of the people killed were elderly, he said.
"In terms of the number of influenza-associated hospitalization, we see it's more than four times all of the hospitalization all of last year," Stacklin said.
If you are feeling bad, how do you tell if it's the flu? If your symptoms are from the chest up, say a sore throat, congestion, a high fever, it could likely be the flu. However, if your symptoms are from the stomach down, that's likely something else, health officials say.
Stacklin says this year's flu vaccine is effective. He urges people to get it, especially the young, the elderly and people around them, because not everyone will.
"I got one last year. So I'm just taking my chances that I won't get it this year," Phil Winton said.
To check out free or low-cost flu shots in Cuyahoga County, CLICK HERE.
To check out free or low-cost flu shots in Lake County, CLICK HERE.
To check out free or low-cost flu shots in Lorain County, CLICK HERE.