Ohio sees sudden surge in flu cases

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the Ohio Department of Health’s latest flu report, confirmed flu-hospitalizations are up 45 percent this week.

Local emergency rooms are noticing the increase.

Dr. Harold Guadalupe, an E.R. physician at Miami Valley Hospital says they opened another wing to handle the increase in patients partly due to the flu.

“Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands,” is what Dr. Guadalupe says is the best way to stop the flu from spreading.

“In the last month we’ve seen quite an uptick in the number of cases coming through the emergency department,” he said.

Since the first of the year, the Miami Valley Hospital is reporting nearly 300 patients who tested positive for influenza and more than 100 people who were so sick, they were admitted.

Kettering Health Network hospitals are seeing a similar situation.

“It just happens to be that this time is the time of year when it’s really starting to hit,” said Dr. Matthew Kiefaber with Soin Medical Center.

Within the past week, doctors and nurses in Kettering Health Network’s ten emergency rooms, more than 200 people have been treated for flu-like symptoms.

“There are certain populations that are at more risk for badness related to the flu, particularly the young, the elderly and people with pre-existing lung problems. Like, asthma, COPD, emphysema. Those are the people certainly more at risk and we do see people that unfortunately die from the flu,” Dr. Kiefaber said.

According to the CDC, 29 children have died from complications related to the virus so far this flu season.

Most recently, a 9-year-old boy from Marion County, Ohio died this week at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. He reportedly also suffered from asthma.

He is the fifth child to die from the flu in our state this season.

The state of Ohio doesn’t track adult flu deaths.

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