Influenza not hitting Muskingum County hard

Influenza not hitting Muskingum County hard

by Bill Hughes on December 10, 2014

The most predominant strain of the flu this year is hitting Ohio hard compared to last year, but so far so good in our area.

According to the Health Department, in Muskingum County only two people have been hospitalized for the flu. Compare that to the four last year and Muskingum County is staying away from the flu. At least for now.

"That virus might not be in our area yet," Epidemiologist, Kristen baker said. "That’s why we might not be seeing increased hospitalizations so far. The one population that is reporting to the E.R. with symptoms at a higher rate is actually the 18- to 64-year-olds, so it should be our healthy adult population that is reporting with the symptoms."

H3N2 is an a strain of the influenza virus. Kristen baker says a-strains affect the healthy population more than a b-strain of the virus.

"Anytime that an ‘A’ strain is the predominant virus that’s out there it just causes higher symptoms," Baker said. "H1N1 is an ‘A’ strand as well. They just cause more severe symptoms, and they have a tendency to hit the healthy population a lot more."

Even though the virus has mutated this year Baker said the flu vaccine will still offer you protection and could limit your illness if you do encounter flu-like symptoms.