Ohio health officials say flu activity now at highest level

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Health official issued a warning more than a week ago about rising flu activity in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health now says flu activity has been elevated to "widespread" – the highest level.

During last year’s flu season, flu activity in Ohio didn’t reach "widespread" until mid-January, according to ODH.

Health officials say during the week of Dec. 9, there were 144 new flu-associated hospitalizations in Ohio, compared to 92 the week prior, and 29 during the same week last year. So far this flu season, there have been 401 flu-associated hospitalizations.

ODH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu shot as soon as possible. Vaccinations are the best protection against seasonable flu viruses, according to health officials.