Flu

The number of hospitalizations due to influenza rose by more than a third in Ohio last week. More than 800 people were hospitalized in the fifth week of the year, compared with 611 in the fourth week, and 332 a year ago.

Nurse Nicole Simpson prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta on Feb. 7, 2018.
David Goldman / AP

With two Ohio college students being quarantined and monitored for Wuhan coronavirus, the state's top health officials are watching for more possible infections. But Gov. Mike DeWine says there’s another deadly virus that people should be concerned about: influenza.

If you live in the U.S., your risk of contracting the new strain of coronavirus identified in China is exceedingly low.

Nurse Nicole Simpson prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta on Feb. 7, 2018.
David Goldman / AP

The Christmas weather has been mostly mild this year, but many Ohioans are still getting the chills. Public health leaders say the flu has hit the Buckeye State hard, with more than 400 Ohioans hospitalized so far. 

At least four Southwest Ohio schools are participating in a program which uses a smart thermometer and an app to track and stop the spread of disease.

Nurse Nicole Simpson prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta on Feb. 7, 2018.
David Goldman / AP

Blue Water Vaccines, based in Norwood, has scheduled clinical trials for 2020 involving a universal flu vaccine it's developing. The company closed Tuesday on $7 million worth of funding led by CincyTech.

Ohio continues to do better in preparing for public health emergencies like flu outbreaks or flooding, according to a study released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

With the flu season less than half over, at least two young people in Ohio have died from the illness, including a 13-year-old Cleveland girl last week.

Dr. John Bower is an infectious disease specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital. He said some patients are concerned that the vaccine will actually bring on the flu, or that it simply is not effective.

Need another reason to get the flu shot if you're pregnant?

A study out this week shows that pregnant women with the flu who are hospitalized in an intensive care unit are four times more likely to deliver babies prematurely and four and a half times more likely to have a baby of low birth weight.

It's that time of year again. You wake up with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, a little achy — maybe a fever. Is it a classic head cold, or do you need to be more concerned? Could it be the flu?

Nurse Nicole Simpson prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta on Feb. 7, 2018.
David Goldman / AP

Doctors will have a new drug in their arsenal to help people fight the flu this year. The Food and Drug Administration approved a new medication Wednesday that combats the flu with one dose.

A new Illinois statute aims to boost flu shot rates among healthcare workers by making it harder for employees to decline the vaccine.

Lawmakers say this is important in light of last year’s flu season that killed more people than car crashes and drug overdoses. But some on the frontlines of public health worry that a law that’s not enforced will have little effect.


There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the flu shot.

But following a winter in which more than 80,000 people died from flu-related illnesses in the U.S. — the highest death toll in more than 40 years — infectious disease experts are ramping up efforts to get the word out.

"Flu vaccinations save lives," Surgeon General Jerome Adams told the crowd at an event to kick off flu vaccine awareness last week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "That's why it's so important for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year."

Crowded Homeless Shelters And The Vicious Flu Brew Perfect Storm

Mar 13, 2018
Carmen Heredia Rodriguez / Kaiser Health News

The flu descended on Connie Gabaldon like a fog, she recalled, clouding her mind and compromising her judgment. It progressed to chest and back pain, the aches perhaps made worse by a fall the 66-year-old had while riding the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Federal health officials say that, as they anticipated, the flu vaccine isn't very effective this year — but they say it has still prevented thousands of serious illnesses and deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures that, overall, the flu vaccine is 36 percent effective at preventing disease. One bright point for parents of young kids: Children ages 6 months to 8 years responded significantly better to the vaccine than older Americans.

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