Influenza is on the rise in northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said Thursday.
KENT, Ohio - The start of the spring semester at Kent State is Monday, but the university is already warning sick students to stay away.
The school said on Friday that students with flu-like symptoms are advised not to attend class and contact their professors as soon as possible.
"We just want to make sure that our students stay healthy," said Todd Diacon, Kent State's senior vice president for academic affairs and provost in a news release. "If students have flu-like symptoms, we'd rather they stay home and get better and make up the classwork."
The Ohio Department of Health reports that Ohio is experiencing a widespread flu outbreak. There have been 1,922 influenza-related hospitalizations during this season, with one child death reported, as of Jan. 5.
"Patients are often surprised by how very ill they feel with influenza," said Dr. Angela DeJulius, Kent State's chief university physician. "Prescription antiviral medicines can sometimes help to reduce the duration of illness, but are not a cure. The flu usually lasts at least a week."
Kent State said there are a limited amount of flu vaccines available through the university's health services. DeJulius said since flu season continues into February, it is not too late to get the vaccine.
Earlier this week, a 22-year-old junior at Wright State University died after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.
NewsChannel5's Lee Jordan spoke with a doctor about how this flu season is particularly active. See the video for the interview.
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.
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.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urged parents Monday to vaccinate children against the flu as soon as possible.
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.
With the number of flu cases spreading across the country, one health and fitness expert offers 5 ways to boost your immunity naturally.