Hundreds more hospitalized in Ohio for flu-like symptoms this season

CLEVELAND - More than 1,200 people had been hospitalized for the flu in Ohio last year, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That's a dramatic jump from 2011 when just 71 people were hospitalized.

"It is a bad year," said Dr. Stephen Meldon, director of the emergency department at Cleveland Clinic's main campus.

Meldon said his staff have been very busy this season treating an influx of patients with flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and dry cough.

"This year, it's a strain that's hit early and spread fast," Meldon said.

At least half of the regions in Ohio have experienced an outbreak this season. Therefore, the Ohio Department of Health classifies the state's flu activity level as "widespread."

"We're seeing a high volume of patients coming in with high fever, chills, body aches. Just real sick symptoms," said Cory Cocco, a registered nurse in the emergency department at Cleveland Clinic's main campus, who added that the flu is rampant where he works.

According to Meldon, one of the classic signs of the flu is its abrupt onset followed by a week of flu-like symptoms.

If you suspect you have the flu, doctors recommend drinking plenty of fluids, getting a lot of rest and taking Tylenol.

Young children, the elderly and those with medical issues who contract the flu should seek medical attention immediately.  

"If you're a high-risk patient or if you're really sick, you're having a lot of shortness of breath, trouble breathing, maybe you're confused because you have such a high fever. It's one of those things that if really, really look sick to your loved ones or they look sick to you, they really should be evaluated," Meldon said.

Meanwhile, MetroHealth Medical Center's infectious disease specialist Dr. Melissa Osborn said that it's not too late to get a flu shot and that you can't get the flu from the vaccine. The hospital said they do not track the number of flu cases each season, but it is up from last year.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Related Stories

Cuyahoga County Board of Health: Flu on the rise in northeast Ohio Cuyahoga County Board of Health: Flu on the rise in northeast Ohio

Influenza is on the rise in northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said Thursday.

Flu 2013: Where to get your flu shot in Cleveland, Akron and Northeast Ohio Flu 2013: Where to get your flu shot in Cleveland, Akron and Northeast Ohio

NewsChannel5's Lee Jordan spoke with a doctor about how this flu season is particularly active. See the video for the interview.

Cuyahoga County health officials urge getting flu shot early Cuyahoga County health officials urge getting flu shot early

Supervisor of Clinical Services at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health Cindy Modie and the staff there are gearing up for an impending flu immunization season.

Get your flu shot at Lorain County Fairgrounds Tuesday Get your flu shot at Lorain County Fairgrounds Tuesday

Residents in Lorain County can head to the fairgrounds Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a flu vaccine. The flu shot costs $15. For non-residents, it costs $20.

New report recommends getting flu shots now New report recommends getting flu shots now

The American Academy of Pediatrics urged parents Monday to vaccinate children against the flu as soon as possible.

Flu cases in Ohio make huge jump over past years Flu cases in Ohio make huge jump over past years

The number of Ohioans hospitalized with the flu since last September jumped dramatically over the previous year, but health officials say there isn't an easy explanation for the increase.

105 US kids died of flu; most didn 105 US kids died of flu; most didn't get vaccine, Centers for Disease Control says

The flu season is winding down, and it has killed 105 children so far -- about the average toll.

Flu spreads more readily by breathing than sneezing Flu spreads more readily by breathing than sneezing

You never want to sit next to that guy during flu season.

Flu shot doing a poor job of protecting elderly Flu shot doing a poor job of protecting elderly

It turns out this year's flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting senior citizens, the most vulnerable age group.

Flu season 2013: Health officials say worst may be over Flu season 2013: Health officials say worst may be over

The number of states reporting intense or widespread flu dropped again last week, U.S. health officials said Friday.