673 flu cases confirmed locally

Flu is still rampant in northwestern Ohio and around the country.
Blanchard Valley Health System reported that, as of Friday, it has seen 673 confirmed influenza cases with 54 individuals being hospitalized.
The influenza cases reflect both Blanchard Valley and Bluffton hospitals, plus urgent care and doctors’ offices that are part of the health system.
Flu activity nationwide continues to increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All U.S. states except Hawaii are reporting widespread flu activity.
Flu activity is likely to continue for several more weeks.
Blanchard Valley Health System recommends that individuals:
• Get a flu shot.
• Wash hands to prevent infection.
• Cover a cough or sneeze, or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Get rest and stay hydrated if you are sick.
Flu symptoms may include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
Hancock Public Health is holding walk-in flu vaccine clinics from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday. If those times do not work for a person’s schedule, they can call for an appointment at 419-424-7441.
It’s also possible to get flu vaccine at several area pharmacies, as well as doctors’ offices.
Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital both are still under visitor limitations, meaning children age 14 and younger are being asked to refrain from visiting the hospital for the time being. The intent is to minimize the risk of exposing patients to the influenza virus and respiratory illness.



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