Nichole Hannahs

Flu Season Hits Hard

by Nichole Hannahs on January 3, 2013 at 6:36 am

Experts said this flu season could end up being as bad as the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

In Muskingum County they’ve seen a peak in people being admitted to the hospital with complications from the flu. Since November 28, 31 patients have been admitted. Last year there wasn’t even six or seven.

"If you’re developing a productive cough, persistent fever or getting short of breath, can’t eat or drink, then you’re going to need to be seen by your doctor," said Dr. Vicki Whitacre health department medical director.

Doctor Whitacre said those being admitted range in age from 7 to 100. The very vast majority are 30-35. The doctor said the flu season is also expected to last longer than normal, so get your flu shot.

"You build up immunity to the flu that is causing the most problem is in that shot," said Whitacre. "It gives you some protection. It does take a couple of weeks, but we’re expecting this flu season since it has started early to last all the way through the cold weather."

Whitacre also said to make sure your washing your hands frequently and if you cough, do so into your elbow and not your hand. Flu shots are still available free of charge at the Health Department.