Focus on Flu: A message from local leaders

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CLEVELAND — Local hospitals and leaders have formed a partnership to spread an important message: Focus on Flu.

The public has always been encouraged to get a flu shot, but this season there’s an even greater push because of Ebola concerns.

“The symptoms of Ebola and flu are somewhat similar, so we feel that now more than ever, we need to strongly urge the community to get their flu shot,” the Cleveland Clinic said in an email.

Read more on the symptoms of Ebola and how it’s transmitted.

The MetroHealth System, Sisters of Charity Health System, University Hospitals, and the City of Cleveland are part of the effort.

The group plans to roll out a Focus on Flu campaign next week.

Every year, about 200,00 people are hospitalized because of the flu, but only 5-20 percent of the population gets vaccinated.

U.S. flu deaths have ranged from 3,000-49,000 annually between the years of 1976 and 2006.