It looks like this flu season is much worse than last year’s, according to a warning Monday from the Ohio Department of Health.
Flu activity across the state has been elevated to “widespread” status and new flu-associated hospitalizations are trending above the five-year average.
Last year, the flu season prognosis didn’t hit “widespread” — the highest level — until mid-January.
The week ending Dec. 9, which yields the most recent data available, saw 144 new flu-associated hospitalizations in Ohio, up from 92 the prior week. This time last year, there were just 29.
So far this season, which started in October, there have been 401 hospitalizations related to the flu.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu shot as soon as possible. It is not too late to get a flu shot.