Health officials: seasonal flu is on the rise

The new year is bringing more cases of the flu with it. The flu is now widespread in Ohio and 45 other states. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 2,104 hospitalizations in Ohio since the beginning of flu season. More than 900 of those came during the last week of 2017 alone.

Last year, at the same time, there were only 369 hospitalizations.

In Clermont County, there have been 74 people admitted to the hospital for the flu, through the first week of January.

“Like the rest of the state, we are seeing an increase in flu activity earlier in the season than usual,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit.

Nesbit added, “The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated.”

If you haven’t received your flu shot yet, there is still time. Clermont County Public Health is offering flu shots by appointment by calling 513-735-8400.

Appointments can be scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends everyone six months of age or older get an annual flu shot.

“We still have the vaccine, and want to protect as many people as possible,” said Nesbit.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can also protect yourself by preventing the spread of germs.

– Wash hands often with soap and water.

– Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

– Cover nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

– Avoid close contact with sick people

– Stay home if you are sick.