CLEVELAND — Doctors are concerned about a brutal influenza season this year. On Thursday, we found out that a 13-year-old boy from Cuyahoga County is Ohio's first flu-related death of the season.
So far the state has had 135 flu-related hospitalizations, including 15 in Northeast Ohio, but that's up more than 300% from the week before.
H3N2, an A strain of flu, is the dominant type circulating and that's very concerning too. It was the main strain that caused havoc in the southern hemisphere and impacted more children. According to CDC studies, each flu season we see this particular strain, we typically have more flu deaths. And flu season started earlier.
To put the numbers into perspective, we mentioned that there are already 15 flu-related hospitalizations this season in Northeast Ohio. Compare that to the 18 hospitalizations combined over the last five years at this point.
The current flu shot covers both H3N2 and H1N1 as well as two B strains. Health officials say now is the time to get your flu shot because it will take about 14 days for your body to build antibodies to fight flu. Thanksgiving is in 14 days where you're more likely to be around family members who may be at risk.
We're currently dealing with a triple whammy of RSV, COVID and now flu. The last two have vaccines where you can protect yourself. The vaccines don't prevent you from getting sick, they prevent you from needing hospitalization or dying from these viruses.
More from Monica Robins: