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Brown urges caution against flu

Senator promotes available resources such as flu shots in conference call

WASHINGTON — Cold and flu season is at its height and officials are offering precautions to Ohioans to stay healthy and well.

On a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was joined by Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski in alerting families to resources to protect against the flu.

The Ohio Department of Health reports there have been 3,854 flu-associated hospitalizations in Ohio since the start of the 2017-2018 flu season and, last week, two Ohio children died from complications of the flu, Brown’s office said.

“We want to make sure Ohio families know how to protect themselves and stay healthy,” Brown said. “That starts with getting the flu shot.”

Brown said Ohioans can visit vaccinefinder.org to find local healthcare providers that offer flu vaccinations in their zip code.

His office cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who urge everyone over the age of six months to get a flu vaccine every year, and said Ohioans can also take precautionary measures such as washing hands, covering coughs, and disinfecting contaminated surfaces to prevent spreading the flu.

People who may have the flu are encouraged to seek treatment from a doctor immediately and stay home from school or work, if possible.

Zgodzinski discussed efforts to prevent the flu in Ohio. He said Lucas County has been hit especially hard by the flu this year, with four deaths likely due to flu-related complications.

“Flu can be an issue for several more months,” he said. “I urge Ohioans to take precautions in order to keep you and your family well. These include: getting the flu shot (it is not too late), washing your hands, getting adequate rest, staying away from sick individuals, and stay home if you are sick, just to name a few.  As always seek medical advice with questions or if you are ill.”

Brown’s office said Ohioans can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health websites for information on the flu and how to keep families healthy.