Flu season getting worse; vaccinations plentiful across Ohio

Reported influenza cases are expected to rise as children head back to school from winter break.

The Ohio Department of Health continues to alert the public about the importance of flu vaccinations, which are still plentiful statewide.

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Regional activity was reported in Ohio, which has seen about 550 flu hospitalizations since the season began this fall, according to weekly data on the Ohio Department of Health website.

Across the country, there is widespread activity in 24 states; 13 children have died, many not vaccinated.

As the flu season is getting worse, a new study suggests that parents should opt for the shot instead of the nasal spray for children.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics said the study looked at the effectiveness of the flu shot versus nasal spray in 17,000 children from 2013 to 2016. While the shot did better in preventing influenza-A, pediatricians are seeing better results with a newer version of the flu mist.

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“This year, the new designed nasal spray is really hopeful. So, if your child got a shot or if your child got the flu spray, I’m hopeful that both of those preparations will really reduce the likelihood of your child getting the flu,” said Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The CDC has no preferred recommendation on whether to get the flu shot or the mist, but the spray is not approved for pregnant women, children younger than 2 and adults 50 and older.

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