Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a sickness that comes every winter. During flu season, many people flock to their local pharmacy to get a flu shot. Unfortunately, not everyone is vaccinated against the flu, and there are some strains of the virus that are not prevented by the vaccination. This leads to many people being hospitalized as a result of the flu. Sometimes it can even lead to fatalities. In Ohio, there has been an increase in flu activity in the past few weeks. This increase has caused four children to lose their lives from flu complications.
The case of a three-year-old boy from Columbus was marked as the fourth flu-associated death in Ohio. The other pediatric deaths include another three-year-old boy from Highland County and a thirteen-year-old girl from Cleveland.
As upsetting as it may be, it is fairly common to see flu-related deaths in the news. With flu season beginning around October and sometimes lasting as late as through May, it is crucial to protect yourself from the dangers of Influenza. The best way to protect yourself is to get the vaccine and frequently wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer). However, if you cannot avoid the germs and find yourself sick it’s important to recognize the symptoms and know when to get help.
Common symptoms experienced by people who have the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Usually, people will regain their health over time without medical intervention. However certain people are higher risk, such as those who are pregnant, have asthma, have heart disease, are a child, or are elderly. Those who qualify as higher risk may require more medical attention.
Lakewood High School student, Tayt Armitage, was one of the unfortunate people who caught the flu. When asked about it, Tayt said, “Having the flu is really horrible and it can spread like crazy. It’s so important to get a flu shot and wash your hands to kill germs.”