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Belmont Co. urging flu precautions

?Health department says flu season a dire one in Ohio

February 8, 2013
By ROBERT A. DEFRANK - Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader

ST. CLAIRSVILLE This flu season has been a dire one for the state, and citizens are advised to take precautions for themselves and those close to them.

"In Ohio the flu activity is widespread. More than half the state has reported an increase," said Lynn Schrum, RN/infectious disease nurse at the Belmont Count Health Department, noting 2,500 reported hospitalizations.

Meanwhile, Belmont County has seen 17 cases between December and January with an even amount between Influenza A and Influenza B.

She said cases have remained steady for the past few weeks, with a drastic increase just prior.

She noted most cases have tapered off except in the west of the state. While the elderly ages 75-85 are most at risk, the county has seen no pediatric cases. She advises caution during cold and flu season. Common precautions include coughing into one's sleeve rather than one's hand, as well as frequent hand washing. She added that the virus can live on a doorknob for about a day.

"You need to get the flu shot. It's not too late to get it," she said, adding that the health department no longer has any flu shots in stock, so it would be necessary to visit a pharmacy.

DeFrank can be reached at



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