DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Flu deaths are spiking among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s a growing concern that kids are being hit especially hard this season.
Since October, Ohio health officials have reported more than 1,600 flu-associated hospitalizations. This week, the CDC reported seeing what they’re calling ‘epidemic levels’ of flu activity starting last month.
Doctors here say the flu hasn’t been as intense as it is in places like New York City–where 4 children died in January. In Montgomery County, hospitals have seen 118 flu cases this season. Greene County had 19 cases, Clark County had 22 cases, and Miami County had 5 cases.
To best keep from getting the virus–doctors say be cautious about what you touch and be sure to wash your hands multiple times a day. Dr. Joseph Allen with Premiere Health says parents play a key role in preventing the spread of the virus.
“Keep a close eye on your kids,” Dr. Allen said. “We all do as parents. If something is out of the ordinary or something doesn’t seem right by all means get them some treatment. Get something to look at them. It doesn’t mean they have to go to the emergency room, but certainly have their pediatrician look at them.”
According to the CDC, there were a total of 89 child deaths related to the flu last season. Doctors say often time flu deaths peak in the month of February.