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Ohio hospitals seeing 84% fewer flu cases so far this season, health officials say – WLWT Cincinnati

Since there has been a lot of intense focus on the spread of coronavirus this fall, the flu season has not been as top of mind as it usually is by the time December hits.The 2020 flu season has been relatively mild so far, according to data supplied by the Ohio Department of Health and county health department numbers.But there’s a cautionary note to go along with the guarded optimism about how this flu season will turn out. Peak season that extends into January and February is just getting underway.Doctors are hoping the so-called twindemic they warned about months ago won’t come to pass in the new year.They hope people who have historically bypassed a flu shot will be like Ashley Wells of Price Hill this time.She is a pandemic year flu shot convert.”Actually this is my first time ever getting a flu shot,” she told us in the bright sunlight of this mild December day. “I was one of those ones that didn’t believe in gettin’ it.”Doctors told us they are seeing more first-timers join the annual regulars. According to data provided by the Cincinnati Health Department, more than 4,300 people have rolled up their sleeves for the influenza vaccine at city clinics alone. Cameron Bost was not one of them. The youthful Corryville man told us he was unsure about it. “To be honest, with COVID going on I hadn’t even really thought about the regular flu, you know,” he said.Advertising signs that scream “free flu shots” are prominent at familiar retail locations where you must book an appointment ahead of time.The pandemic has been raising all kinds of concerns relative to flu prevention.”I mean, my mom’s 91 and I’m afraid to even get her out of the house to go get one because of COVID cause she’s so compromised,” said Tammy Brown of West Chester.While COVID numbers multiply, flu numbers minimize. There were 518 flu cases in Northern Kentucky a year ago today. The current count for this flu season is eight.Masks, distancing and a heavy emphasis on frequent hand washing appear to be having a desired effect.Dr. Taylor Gilbert of Hyde Park Pediatrics explained, “COVID has people worried more about viruses than they were in the past, right? So, people are thinking about what would happen if I were to get sick.”Ohio hospitals are strained with COVID cases, but are registering 84% fewer flu cases so far, according to the Ohio Department of Health.The official start of flu season was roughly 10 weeks ago and so far fewer than 30 Ohio residents have had to be hospitalized with the flu. But it’s early.And just because you can count the number of flu hospitalizations on one hand in Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties doesn’t mean the flu risk has disappeared. The medical community’s message is don’t overlook or bypass the flu shot because of excitement about a COVID vaccine that has Ashley Wells so pumped, she blurted, “I can’t wait. Yes, I’m rootin’ for it. I can’t wait. As soon as it’s available for everyone, I’m definitely goin’ for that one, too.”

Since there has been a lot of intense focus on the spread of coronavirus this fall, the flu season has not been as top of mind as it usually is by the time December hits.

The 2020 flu season has been relatively mild so far, according to data supplied by the Ohio Department of Health and county health department numbers.

But there’s a cautionary note to go along with the guarded optimism about how this flu season will turn out. Peak season that extends into January and February is just getting underway.

Doctors are hoping the so-called twindemic they warned about months ago won’t come to pass in the new year.

They hope people who have historically bypassed a flu shot will be like Ashley Wells of Price Hill this time.

She is a pandemic year flu shot convert.

“Actually this is my first time ever getting a flu shot,” she told us in the bright sunlight of this mild December day. “I was one of those ones that didn’t believe in gettin’ it.”

Doctors told us they are seeing more first-timers join the annual regulars. According to data provided by the Cincinnati Health Department, more than 4,300 people have rolled up their sleeves for the influenza vaccine at city clinics alone.

Cameron Bost was not one of them. The youthful Corryville man told us he was unsure about it.

“To be honest, with COVID going on I hadn’t even really thought about the regular flu, you know,” he said.

Advertising signs that scream “free flu shots” are prominent at familiar retail locations where you must book an appointment ahead of time.

The pandemic has been raising all kinds of concerns relative to flu prevention.

“I mean, my mom’s 91 and I’m afraid to even get her out of the house to go get one because of COVID cause she’s so compromised,” said Tammy Brown of West Chester.

While COVID numbers multiply, flu numbers minimize. There were 518 flu cases in Northern Kentucky a year ago today. The current count for this flu season is eight.

Masks, distancing and a heavy emphasis on frequent hand washing appear to be having a desired effect.

Dr. Taylor Gilbert of Hyde Park Pediatrics explained, “COVID has people worried more about viruses than they were in the past, right? So, people are thinking about what would happen if I were to get sick.”

Ohio hospitals are strained with COVID cases, but are registering 84% fewer flu cases so far, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The official start of flu season was roughly 10 weeks ago and so far fewer than 30 Ohio residents have had to be hospitalized with the flu. But it’s early.

And just because you can count the number of flu hospitalizations on one hand in Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties doesn’t mean the flu risk has disappeared.

The medical community’s message is don’t overlook or bypass the flu shot because of excitement about a COVID vaccine that has Ashley Wells so pumped, she blurted, “I can’t wait. Yes, I’m rootin’ for it. I can’t wait. As soon as it’s available for everyone, I’m definitely goin’ for that one, too.”

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