A significant rise in positive lab tests for the H1N1 virus were reported Thursday in Columbus and Franklin County.
Also, an increase was reported in the number of people going to emergency rooms with flu symptoms, 10TV's Cara Connelly reported.
The number of over-the-counter flu remedies sold has also increased. One indicator that children are getting the virus was a significant increase in the number of them staying home from school.
SPECIAL SECTION: H1N1
"When our hospital emergency departments are so filled -- the urgent cares are so full, our schools are having increasing rates of absenteeism -- in a time when we wouldn't usually see this, that's why we're so concerned about it," said Columbus Health Commissioner Teresa Long.
Health care workers from the city and county lined up Thursday to get their H1N1 vaccines, Connelly reported.
They were seeing more and more people in hospitals, offices and clinics with flu symptoms.
A doctor who spoke with Connelly said that the vaccine is crucial to protect her patients and her unborn baby.
"The seasonal flu vaccine has been shown to be safe," said Dr. Jennifer Bullock of Midwest Allergy. "I am not concerned and the benefit far outweighs the risk."
Health department officials said that they were not ready to announce when they will have vaccination clinics for high risk members of the public.
Franklin County hopes to start the clinics the week of Nov. 2 but nothing was immediately scheduled or conformed because it all depends on when they get more doses of the vaccine.
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