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How to know when flu symptoms need medical attention

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Hospitals around northwest Ohio are reporting more cases of the flu. The virus is already being blamed for at least two deaths in Lucas County.

Leaders at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department say they have seen nearly 50 cases so far with two flu-related deaths. However, they say that number is expected to rise as more people check in to local hospitals with severe symptoms.

Symptoms you shouldn't ignore:

-chills

-body aches

-coughing

-fever

-tiredness

-sore throat

-nasal congestion

How do you know when your symptoms need medical attention? Doctors say there are a few things to watch for...

"You probably want to see a doctor if the temperature is over 103/104 and you can't get it controlled after trying some Ibuprofen," said Dr. Daniel Neumeyer with Mercy's Emergency Center in Perrysburg.

Neumeyer says temperatures and severe body aches are two big warning signs for when your case of the flu could turn into something more serious.

"If you're feeling so run down that you just can't function, you definitely want to come and see the doctor," suggested Neumeyer.

He says those who think they may have the flu should take some time off work or school to rest and prevent spreading germs.

"It's unfortunately very contagious," said Neumeyer.

As always, Neumeyer says prevention is key.

How you can avoid the flu:

-flu shot

-proper hygiene

-avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose

-healthy diet and exercise

-stay hydrated

-disinfect surfaces
    
Lucas County residents say they're already following these tips.

"You take all the precautions you can and mainly get the shot," said Linda Dunbar.

"From my understanding, if you take the flu shot and take care of yourself and wash your hands and sleep, you shouldn't have a problem," said Michael Burriola.

While many local pharmacies are completely sold out of flu shots, there are still a few places you can go. Pharmacists at Walgreens say they still have shots available, but they're going fast. Walmart reps also say they have shots in stock and are planning clinics later in the week.

Shots are given on a first come, first served basis as supplies last. People can also call to set up an appointment for their flu shot.

Walmart stores holding extra flu shot clinics:

-Jan. 16:

Fremont store: 11-4

Glendale Avenue store: 9-4

Central Avenue store: 9-4

-Jan. 17:

Holland store: 10-3

After a drastic increase in flu reports, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department will be holding two special walk-in flu clinics at its location on North Erie Street:

-Jan. 15: 4-6

-Jan. 18: 9–1

This is late in the season to be getting your flu shot, but some still say it's worth it.

"It's definitely not too late. If you have the opportunity come in and get it now. The sooner the better. It does take two weeks for you to get the full immunity, but the sooner you get it the better off you are," said Neumeyer.

Flu shots usually cost about $30.

We want to help you fight the flu this season. Find more information about symptoms, treatment and clinics in our Flu Tracker section.

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