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Flu Season Still Fatal In Northeast Ohio

Three more people – all elderly women – have died of complications from the flu in Cuyahoga County, upping the total in Northeast Ohio to at least a dozen fatalities. From member station WKSU, M.L. Schultze reports.

The deaths range from a 1-year-old boy in Summit County to a 101-year-old woman in Euclid.

Health departments throughout the state are reporting thousands of cases of what’s known as H3N2, which is especially severe among young children and older adults.

The Toledo area has had 250 cases reported.

Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski says part of the problem is early reports that the flu vaccine provided little protection discouraged some people from getting it.

“Even though it might only be 10 percent effective -- and I think the current number is about 30 percent effective -- it still will allow protection for those 30 percent. But also then, it could actually provide limited protection after that from those others that have received it. In other words, the complication might not be all that bad from the flu, it might be a shorter time that you would be sick.”  

The flu season generally lasts from October through May.

The vaccines are still available.


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