CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - More local deaths are being blamed on the flu.
According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, three more people died this week, bringing the total for the season to nine: seven in Cuyahoga County and two in Summit County. The deceased have all been senior citizens.
Officials say the victims lived in Cleveland, Northfield Center and Twinsburg.
There has been more than 800 hospitalizations so far this season, which started back in October.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the flu include:
-Runny or stuffy nose
-Muscle or body aches
-Some may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
"Because of the particular strain of the flu that's going around, that's more prone to more serious complications, hospitalizations, and, unfortunately, even deaths," said Dr. Margo Erme with the Summit County Public Health Department.
Erme says we haven't even reached the peak of flu season, which ends April 30, which means the worst may still be yet to come.
"People who have medical conditions, who are very young, very old, should seek medical attention if they develop signs or symptoms of influenza early, and people who have signs or symptoms of influenza should stay away from work," said Erme.
Dr. Erme says it's not too late to get a flu shot, so that you have a better chance of fighting off the virus.
"Influenza is a dangerous disease and people don't tend to take it seriously," she said.
Once you get the flu shot, it takes about two weeks for the protective antibodies to kick in.