(WOIO) - Flu cases are being reported now across the United States, with some sporadic cases reported across the state of Ohio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of people contracting the flu is expected to rise in the coming weeks.
The flu is a serious respiratory illness that can be deadly.
"It takes somewhere between two to four weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective. That's why it's important to get vaccinated as early as possible during the flu season," Rehm explained.
Doctors say flu viruses are spread mainly by airborne d roplets that come from coughing, sneezing or talking. You can also get the flu by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
The people who are most at risk of developing complications from the flu are people over 65, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
In the worst cases, the flu can turn into bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and dehydration.
Flu symptoms often start suddenly.
"Influenza symptoms, as it begins, include things like severe aches, headaches, fevers, chills, tiredness and fever is a big thing," added Rehm.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot.
The four children who have died as a result of complications from the flu virus are from other parts of the country, not Ohio.
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