CLEVELAND, Ohio — This flu season shows no signs of slowing down as this week alone the Cuyahoga County Board of Health announces six additional adult flu-related deaths.
The Cleveland Clinic states around 930 people have been hospitalized so far this season for the flu including totals from Akron General Hospital. It’s the largest amount they’ve seen since the worst flu season in recent memory in 2014-2015.
So far nationwide the CDC reports at least 30 children have died from the flu. The number is expected to rise as many health experts cannot yet determine if we have seen the worst of flu season.
“It’s incredible to think about a normal, healthy child who can succumb to the flu and succumb very, very quickly; that is the nature of the illness,” said Dr. Susan Rehm, Vice Chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic.
The CDC is still recommending vaccination as the best option to keep the flu at bay, citing it can reduce chances of getting the virus by up to 60 percent. However, Dr. Rehm cautions it can take up to two weeks to become effective. In the meantime, she has advice on symptoms you may not realize you need to watch for in your children.
“A fever that does not go away or one that goes away for a while and comes back; anybody that has difficulty breathing or trouble staying awake those are the types of things that should lead people to seek care,” said Dr. Rehm.
For now, the mystery remains about when the widespread and deadly flu season will end and if we have seen the worst of it yet. According to Dr. Rehm, several more weeks of information is needed to determine how long it will last.