Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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If you have a cough, fever, sore throat, body aches, chills or fatigue you may have the flu, which is on the rise in Toledo, and around the state.
The flu is on the rise. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 338 people hospitalized with the flu.
Local doctors say the increase is primarily with people in their 40s and 50s.
"We are beginning to see some more reported flu cases. We are seeing a lot of people with respiratory complaints and flu-like illnesses, but they have not all been documented as the flu, and they may not all be, but we are beginning to see a slight increase in what is compatibly with the flu," explained David Grossman, with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.
Even though the flu is on the rise, there are things you can do to lower the risk of getting it.
"The flu vaccine is important. Granted it is not 100 percent protection, but it is some of the best that we have. Number two is good hygiene, washing your hands, doing all the cleaning that we talk about. Avoiding people that are sick, in areas, you know, maybe someone who's ill, you don't want to put yourself near them because that's how the flu spreads, usually the flu is spread from person to person," said Grossman.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, while vaccines provide the greatest protection against the flu, other effective measures include:
-Washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer -Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or coughing or sneezing into elbows -Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth -Staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication
Although most people fully recover from the flu, a small portion do experience severe illness, such as pneumonia and respiratory failure, and sometimes the flu can be fatal.