3-year-old dies from flu; first child death of flu season in Ohio

3-year-old dies from flu; first child death of flu season in Ohio

COLUMBUS (WTOL) - A three-year-old boy from the Cincinnati area has died from the flu according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The ODH said this is the state’s first child death associated with the flu of the 2018-2019 flu season.

So far there this season, there have been 1,832 hospitalizations reported due to the flu. That number has significantly decreased from the 8,611 that was reported during the same time last year. There were six child deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season.

“It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Getting the flu vaccine is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu for everyone 6 months and older,” said Sietske de Fijter, state epidemiologist and chief of the ODH Bureau of Infectious Diseases. “If you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others,” de Fijter said.

There are no flu vaccine shortages across Ohio at this time.

“These antiviral medications can reduce the severity of the flu and prevent serious flu complications,” de Fijter said. “They work best when started within two days of getting sick.”

Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Flu vaccination is available at most healthcare providers’ offices, local health departments and retail pharmacies.

You can avoid getting the flu by washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick.

You can learn more information about the flu and flu activity here.

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