(PRESS RELEASE) Wauseon, OH: Virus activity is surging across the United States, Ohio, and Fulton County. Your Fulton County Health Department (FCHD) is stressing the importance of preventive measures and the value of testing and treatment for those who develop illness and the associated symptoms.
Here are a few fast facts concerning data on hospitalizations and deaths for flu, COVID-19 and RSV (based on data collected through 12/30/2023):
US: The CDC estimates that there have been at least 7.1 million illnesses, 73,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from flu so far this season. COVID is on the rise, especially with the JN.1 variant.
OHIO: For the week ending on December 30, 2023, Ohio has reached a “Very High” level for current influenza. activity. There were 548 influenza hospitalizations in the week ending 12/30/23 and 1,452 total influenza-associated hospitalizations in this flu season. RSV is not a reportable condition in Ohio, so data is not available.
FULTON COUNTY: Fulton County has had five influenza-associated hospitalizations this season. The COVID hospitalization county level indicator is MEDIUM (as of 1/10/2024).
It is important to take action. If you begin to experience mild symptoms, seek testing and medical care from your regular health care provider, urgent care, or a telehealth provider.
Treatments are available by prescription for both flu and COVID-19 and can help prevent severe illness and lower your risk of hospitalization, especially for those who are at high risk of serious complications based on their age or medical conditions.
The Ohio Department of Health continues to supply COVID-19 test kits to local health departments in Ohio. Supply levels vary, call your health department for availability.
In addition to testing and treatment, flu and COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available at the health department, medical offices, and pharmacies.
Children with Medicaid can receive the COVID-19 vaccine – as well as other recommended vaccines including the flu vaccine – at their local health department or Vaccines for Children Program enrolled medical providers who administer vaccines free of charge.
People should also ask their health care providers about RSV immunizations for pregnant women, older adults, and infants.
The following precautions should also be taken to protect against the spread of respiratory viruses:
-Regularly clean your hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water to prevent the spread of viruses to others.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
-Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.
-Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.
-Stay home when sick, except to seek medical care or testing, and take steps to avoid spreading infection to others in your home, including: Staying in a separate room from other household members, if possible; Using a separate bathroom, if possible; Avoiding contact with other members of the household and pets; Not sharing personal household items, like cups, towels and utensils.
-Wearing a mask when around other people.
There are several individuals in our communities who are at a higher risk for severe complications resulting from a respiratory infection. Please take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others.
Interested in more Ohio and County-level data? Visit https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/seasonal-influenza/influenza-dashboard and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.
To learn more about public health or to make an appointment for vaccination, Fulton County residents, contact Fulton County Health Department at 419.337.0915 or visit www.fultoncountyhealthdept.com