There's some good news when it comes to this year's flu.
In Muskingum County they are seeing less cases of those suffering it's effects coming into the hospitals.
"It seemed to peak at the end of December and the first week or two of January," explained Southeast Regional Epidemiologist Kristen Baker. "It has gone down since then, so currently we're seeing maybe 5 influenza like illnesses showing up in the ER currently."
The peak of flu season is quickly approaching, but there's still time to protect yourself and others by getting vaccinated.
Dr. Vicki Whitacre of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department said more cases of the flu are reported in February than any other month, but as the weather gets colder, influenza activity is likely to increase.
"Up to this point, it's been what we call sporadic, which means there's just an occasional case of the flu," said Whitacre....
The seasonal flu vaccine is administered mostly during the fall and winter months to help people battle the upcoming cold and flu season.
Rambo Memorial Health Center Executive Director, Crystal Bebout, says it's proven to work most of the time.
"For 86% of healthy adults, it is effective and for those who are immuno-compromised or have chronic medical conditions, it is less effective just because their bodies can't handle the antibodies or make the antibodies for the flu,...
This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, just in time for the third projected wave of the H1N1 flu pandemic.
Dr. Vicki Whitacre of the Zanesville Muskingum County Health Department says flu pandemics tend to have several waves.
"Usually when you have pandemics, which H1N1 is considered to be, you will have three waves," she said. "We've had two and we're expecting the third in a month or two. "The first one started in the late spring...
As flu season continues to run rampant throughout the United States, measures to detect which strain you have may be getting easier.
Currently the "rapid test" is used by doctors to detect which strain of the flu patients have. It does not test specifically for H1N1, which is a sub-type of influenza a, but new tests are on their way to the market which will test for H1N1.
The current rapid tests do give quick results, but they're not always reliable.
Pregnant women in Muskingum County are still waiting for their H1N1 and seasonal flu shots.
Today's clinic at Rambo Memorial Health gave 150 H1N1 shots to pregnant women. Bebout says there are still 200 pregnant women on a list to get their seasonal flu shot and 40 women on the list to get their H1N1 shots. Bebout says she is hoping more vaccine will come in soon.
"I called Ohio Department of Health today and they basically told me that it would be...
There are three upcoming flu clinics to be held at the rambo Memorial Health Center in Zanesville in the coming weeks.
The first is a seasonal flu vaccine clinic for children ages 7 through 18 who do not have health insurance or are enrolled in Medicaid. That clinic will be held this Thursday, Nov. 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The second clinic is an H1N1 flu vaccine clinic for pregnant women. It will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6.
Starting November 2nd, the Genesis Healthcare System will limit visitations due to the flu.
Both Bethesda and Good Samaritan will only allow visitors over the age of 18, immediate family who are free of flu symptoms and only two visitors per patient. Also, only parents or grandparents may visit infants in the nursery or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Genesis says these precautions are needed to protect their patients and stop the spread of the flu.
In response to the high incidence of flu in the community, Genesis HealthCare System is requesting the support of the community to protect patients and help prevent the spread of the flu. On Nov. 2, the hospital will limit patient visitation at both its locations, Genesis-Bethesda and Genesis-Good Samaritan to:
• Individuals age 18 and older • Immediate family only (parents, grandparents and adult children) • Two visitors per patient • Those who are...
Muskingum County's first doses of the H1N1 vaccine are being given out today.
Four hundred intranasal spray doses are being used to immunize the Tier 1 priority group.
"The Emergency Medical Services which includes the EMTs and paramedics and also we are including firefighters because they are also part of that Tier 1 group, that priority group," says Jeff Michaels, the preparedness coordinator for Public Health.