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Ohio Flu Hospitalizations Spike Again, 4 Deaths Now Reported

The state Health Department says four people have died from the flu this season in Ohio as hospitalizations continue to rise. Data released Friday shows 1,598 flu-related hospitalizations Dec. 28 through Jan. 4. That's a 55 percent jump from a week earlier and brings the season total to 4,487. The state says Ohio's east-central region had the most hospitalizations last week with 461, followed by 289 from the southwest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said this year's vaccine may not protect against the dominant flu strain as well. The state says getting the vaccine is still important, especially for the chronically ill, the elderly and pregnant women. Several hospitals around Ohio have asked people with flu symptoms to stay away to avoid sickening patients and staff.