The Ohio Department of Health is raising its flu-activity level to “widespread,” the agency’s highest ranking.
From the start of October through Dec. 9, 401 people have been hospitalized with symptoms associated with influenza, according to ODH.
In the most recent week numbers are available, 144 people went to the hospital with the flu.
That’s a 57 percent increase over the prior week. It’s also higher than the five-year average of a bit less than 100 for the same period in past years.
There have been 39 flu-related hospitalizations so far in Cuyahoga County, 33 in Summit County and 42 in Stark, according to health department statistics.
The state health department recommends flu shots for anyone six months or older.