TOLEDO, Ohio — Local COVID-19 numbers remain low, but health leaders are concerned about flu numbers continuing to rise.
More than two dozen people have been hospitalized in Lucas County so far this year.
"We are definitely seeing more cases this year than we saw last year," Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said.
Zgodskinski said this could relate back to many people wearing masks during flu season last year, which prevented the flu from spreading.
So far this year, 26 people have been hospitalized in Lucas County due to the flu, and as spring allergies start to kick, in health leaders are reminding parents not to panic when kids get sick, but at the same time be mindful of their symptoms.
Watery or itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing are all normal this time of year, especially as the weather starts to change. However, while allergies may seem bad right now, the flu is more so a concern, with dozens of more pediatric cases being reported locally.
Across the state there have been 972 flu-associated hospitalizations. This time last year, there were only 108. While everyone should speak with their doctor for individual recommendations, it's most likely not too late to get your flu shot.
"It does take two weeks for the vaccine to be truly effective, but the idea here is talk to your doctor see what they want you to do. It all depends on how long flu goes," Zgodzinsk said.
The health commissioner said if flu season lasts for another two months, then the vaccine will still be viable since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective.
Health experts claim the flu season could last until May.