Flu cases spiking in Butler County after staying low this winter

The death of a Mason fourth-grader after she was first stricken with the flu and strep throat comes at a time when Butler County is seeing a jump in flu hospitalizations, officials said.

Western Row Elementary fourth-grader Sable Gibson died from cardiac arrest on Tuesday. The school sent a message to families that said, in part, “Sable’s family shares that their sweet daughter was diagnosed with strep throat and influenza on Tuesday morning which lead to cardiac arrest Tuesday afternoon.”

Butler County’s health commissioner said the county has seen a spike in cases here.

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“This flu season has been late and light,” said Butler County Health Commissioner Jenny Bailer. “But starting about a week ago, we have seen spike in the number of flu hospitalizations.”

Bailer said Butler County had been averaging five to 10 hospitalizations from flu per week, but in the last part of this month health officials have seen an average of 25 cases being reported.

“It’s not too late to get a flu shot,” Bailer said.

Overall, it has been the mildest flu season of the last three years in Butler County, she said.

But she stressed her department and others in Ohio’s 88 counties only receive reports from local hospitals of flu victims who are hospitalized and not any information on those residents who suffer through the illness without going to the hospital.

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