Boy dies from flu as OH hospitals report increase in cases

8-month-old Kingston was hospitalized with the flu in Houston.               KHOU-TV

8-month-old Kingston was hospitalized with the flu in Houston. KHOU-TV

According to the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, the child was 18-months-old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 2017-2018 flu season in OH is comparative to that in 2014-15, which was the most severe flu season in recent years.

It is still too soon to say just how bad this flu season will be, but there are troubling signs in some places.

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Cases of the flu were close to epidemic levels at the end of 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The deaths are the first reported by the state since flu season started in October. CDC estimates that influenza has caused 9 million to 35 million illnesses, 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 56,000 deaths in the United States each year since 2010.

The White County Health Department has confirmed one death in the county because of the flu. Two strains of the virus are affecting the population - the dominant and more severe influenza A strain (H3N2) which mostly impacts the elderly, and an influenza B/Yamagata strain which affects both adults and children.

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It's not clear yet how effective this year's flu vaccine will be, as federal data on that won't be available till February.

"We really haven't seen a season quite like this in a little while", said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario told National Post.

Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

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