Flu report: Doctor visits in Cuyahoga County up 271% last week

State Medical Director categorizes this as a “severe flu season.”
Updated: Feb. 14, 2020 at 1:36 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Cuyahoga County Board of Health released its weekly flu report which showed doctor visits from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8 for flu like symptoms, were up 271.5% from the previous week.

There was one death in the county last week, a 33-year-old man from North Olmsted.

This marks the ninth death in the county since the end of December.

The county is currently at level “very high” for flu activity, the second highest level possible.

From the last week of December 2019 to the present in Cuyahoga County there have been:

  • 2,655 flu-related ED visits
  • 813 flu-related hospitalizations
  • 9 flu-related fatalities

Statewide numbers show it’s not just Northeast Ohio struggling with the illness as the number of people who’ve been newly hospitalized in Ohio, the week of Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, was 994 which is the highest of the season.

This chart shows a second, more severe spike in the number of people hospitalized with the flu...
This chart shows a second, more severe spike in the number of people hospitalized with the flu in Ohio. The blue line is the five year average. The red line are the cases from this year.(Source: Ohio Department of Health)

“Having this sort of peak is uncommon at this point in the flu season, and suggests a more severe flu season,” said Dr. Mark Hurst, Medical Director for ODH. "While we cannot be completely sure, we hope this is the peak of the 2019-2020 season, and the numbers will begin to drop in the coming weeks. We should keep in mind though that flu season typically lasts well into the spring, so it is still not too late to get a flu shot.

The Ohio Department of Health only tracks pediatric deaths from the flu, of which there have been two this flu season.

“This flu season has not been a typical season. Usually we see the A virus early in the season, and more of the B virus later in the season,” Hurst said. “The 2019-2020 season has been the opposite. Currently the A virus is taking hold of the state, across all cities and age ranges.”

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