County health departments urge people to get flu shot - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

County health departments urge people to get flu shot

(Toledo News Now) -

In just the last couple weeks, seven people in the area have died of the flu. Five deaths have been reported in Lucas County, two in Monroe and one in Lenawee.

What about Wood County? The health department there says just because no deaths have been reported doesn't necessarily mean they haven't occurred. There is only one traditional hospital in Wood County, so residents may end up going to a Lucas County hospital, and would be reported as in Lucas County.

The Wood County Health Department does say there have been 48 reported cases of the flu in the county so far this year.

One person has died in Lenawee County, so health leaders there are hosting additional flu shot clinics and urging everyone to get vaccinated. They say the virus seems to be hitting especially hard this year and even healthy people should get the flu shot.

"The flu activity is continuing to increase," said health officer Patsy Bourgeois. "We don't know how long that will continue, but we do know that there are more cases of the flu today than yesterday and expect that to continue at least the next few days."

Health leaders there say there have been 500 reported cases of the flu in the county, and eight hospitalizations. They say almost all of the cases are H1N1, which most people have not built up immunity to yet.

"When it gets into the lungs, the lungs respond in a robust way, causing fluid to accumulate in the lungs, which can lead to respiratory distress and respiratory failure," explained Dennis Chernin, medical director of the Lucas County Health Department.

For more information on Lenawee County's added flu clinics, click here.

But in Sandusky County, the health department has run out of their supply of flu shots. Fortunately, residents still have options.

The Sandusky County Health Department stocked up on 1,400 flu vaccines last fall. There have only been 87 confirmed cases of the flu and five hospitalizations reported for the county, but that has not stopped people from getting vaccinated.

"When you hear about the ones in Toledo, seven deaths, it's scary," said Betty Kaltenbach, a Fremont resident. "It comes close to home."

Flu vaccines are more common at the beginning of flu season, but health officials say if you are at risk, you can get one at any time.

"If you have any sort of chronic disease," said Jennifer Burner, manager of the Walmart pharmacy in Fremont. "You can certainly be immunized through the end of April of May."

The county health department is currently evaluating if they will order additional vaccines, but in the meantime residents can get them at their local pharmacy or urgent care center.

"Actually I feel like I am contributing to the health of the community by being able to take care of them when they need it," Burner said. "Now, particularly, it's important with everyone being out of stock."

We want to make sure you stay healthy and know what to do if you think you have the flu! We have put together tons of information here, including when to see a doctor and where the flu clinics are near you.

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