As the calendar turns to February, health officials in the U.S. are reporting an upswing in flu cases around the country, and on the local scene. The CDC reports 5% of Americans now have the flu, compared with 4.2% at this time last year. That’s over 16 million people with flu-like symptoms. In Henry County, there were 156 flu cases in January, compared to 73 at this time last year. 23 residents were hospitalized with the flu in January, and two deaths were reported. Both victims were over the age of 65, and had underlying conditions that were factors.
In Fulton County, there were 53 confirmed flu cases last year in January. That number this year is 342, with 35 hospitalizations reported for the flu season so far.
Defiance County is finding pretty-much the same story. The health department reports there were 116 confirmed flu cases in January 2017. Last month in Defiance the flu cases surged to 238, with 19 hospitalizations.
The state of Kansas is reporting the highest level of influenza at 6.6% of their residents, with Missouri and Iowa right behind.
Health officials report an influenza shot can still help keep flu symptoms away, or lessen the effects.