Health Department: 2 flu-related deaths in Toledo in recent week - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Health Department: 2 flu-related deaths in Toledo in recent weeks

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The flu season is definitely here. Officials at the Toledo Lucas County Health Department report 45 recent hospitalizations due to the flu, and more are expected.

Two flu-related deaths have also been reported.

Hospital Director Larry Vasco says a 50-year-old Lambertville man diagnosed with the H1N1 strain of flu died December 28th.  Vasco says 62 year-old Toledo woman also died this past Tuesday.

The cause of the flu outbreak is a mystery.

"We don't know why because a flu has a mind of its own," said Health Director Dr. David Grossman. "But it seems to be attacking across the board and causing significant illnesses in broad [age ranges]."

Most of the flu circulating in Lucas County and across Ohio is H1N1, which first occurred in 2009, spreading across the country as part of a pandemic.

There were nationwide vaccinations, but H1N1 is now included in the flu vaccine people receive every year.

"Very often we try to protect it and develop antibodies, but how effective the vaccine is is limited, and this flu virus has its own ability to mix and create its own characteristic and that appears to be what's going on," Grossman said.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills and muscle aches.

Two things you can do to avoid the flu: cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and regularly wash your hands. Dr. Grossman also says it's never too late to get a flu shot.

"We don't know whether this initial jump is the beginning of a peak that will narrow down or if this is the beginning of a wider-spread influenza," he said.

And things could get worse. Dr. Grossman says he expects more flu-related deaths in Lucas County.

The County Health Department says all hospitals in Toledo have posted warnings and are limiting hospital visitors. The health department is planning with flu shot clinics next week. 

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Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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