TOLEDO (WTOL) - For a minute it seemed the flu was leaving Ohio, but new numbers show an increase in the virus.
For the first time this year flu associated hospitalizations in Ohio are above the five-year average. While it's much lower than last year, still more than 500 people were hospitalized just last week in the state.
“We’re looking at another peak,” said Eric Zgodzinski, Toledo Lucas County Health Department Commissioner. “How high that goes, who knows?“
Those who’ve had the bug say it isn’t something they want again.
”The flu was very tough for me,” said Aniea Newton, of Toledo. “I was sick, I was throwing up, I was having the runs and I was really going through a tough time.“
Some say they haven’t noticed the flu that bad this year, but still they take precautions.
”No not at all,” said Lori McCune, a Toledo resident. “Everything has been fine, but I had my flu vaccination."
”I don’t pay too much attention to it,” said Marlene Dolinar, of Toledo. “I just wash my hands a little more than normal."
The Toledo Lucas County Health Commissioner says the best thing you can do is protect yourself.
"We’re out there telling people get vaccinated,” said Zgodzinski. “There’s still time to get vaccinated because again you have it right here, fact, true that we’re seeing an increase again. So, you can get vaccinated, keep yourself healthy, make sure you’re eating right and make sure you get plenty of sleep. If you are sick, stay home, you know keep the kids at home.“
It’s a message health professionals preach, but Toledoans say these tips do make a difference in keeping them healthy.
”I think it’s important because it can keep you healthy and it will keep everybody else around you healthy,” said Aniea Newton. “And I think people need to watch what they are touching, like cover their mouth when they’re coughing and watch who they keep their kids around. They need to watch really all of these things.”
Experts say the environment does play a role in if you get sick, so it’s important you sanitize spaces and take care of yourself.
The flu season has the potential to continue through May, and health professionals say it’s not too late to get your vaccine this year.