Doctors encourage flu shots as number of hospitalizations rises

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Flu season is in full swing, and the Ohio Department of Health is reporting more than 2,000 flu-related hospitalizations across the state. 

That is up from only 369 hospitalizations at this time last year. 

Healthcare professionals are reminding everyone six months and older that it is not too late to get your flu shot. 

Beyond the vaccine, there are other things you can do to avoid getting sick. 

“Just try to limit exposure, lots and lots of hand washing, using wipes on surfaces to clean things off, not a lot of real close contact face to face with someone that’s sick. It’s tough when it’s a baby or something like that, but that’s what helps spread disease,” said Dr. Neal Aulick. 

Try not to eat or drink after anyone, and if you do have to sneeze or cough, do so in your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands. 

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, congestion, cough, muscle aches, and fatigue. 

If you think you may have the flu, make sure to visit your doctor or an urgent care.

The flu is not the only health concern doctors have in the winter months. The simple task of shoveling snow can also be hard on your heart.

“When it is so cold and people are out shoveling snow and not used to the heavy exertions, we do see a lot of heart attacks and things like that this time of year, too. So if you’re out in the cold and trying to shovel six inches of snow off your driveway, just take it easy and be careful,” said Dr. Aulick. 

Overall, make sure to be aware of your body and any unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. 

If you do still need to get a flu shot, remember it takes about two weeks for protection to set in. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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