Health department addresses flu spread

Director of Nursing with the Auglaize County Health Department, Cindy Jones, reported to the Board of Health Tuesday morning that flu activity is picking up.

Jones received a notice from the Ohio Department of Health telling her that from November to December the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had received several reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle aged adults.

“Many of those whom were infected with the influenza, H1N1 2009 virus,” she said. “There have been multiple hospitalizations associated with that and some of those included intensive care admission and some fatalities.”

In the past, H1N1 caused more illness in children and older adults than in young and middle aged people.
“It is not, at this time, possible to predict which influenza viruses will predominate throughout this season, but it looks like that (H1N1) is what we are looking at now.”

Jones explained that the ODH and CDC want to study if there have been any changes to the virus since 2009.

The geographic spread consists of 35 states with influenza activity at a widespread level.

“There were four influenza associated pediatric deaths nationwide, and I think that brings our total number this season to 10.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 15 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.