COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Three children under ten years old from three Ohio counties have died resulting from what the Ohio Department of Health considers "flu-related deaths".
According to the state health department, they include a six-year-old boy from Columbiana County, a seven-year-old girl from Fulton County, and a six-year-old girl from Cuyahoga County.
"Sometimes with these pediatric deaths, there is an underlying condition. Perhaps these people weren't able to get a flu shot due to those conditions," says Melanie Amato, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health. "We have over 395 people that were hospitalized for flu just last week alone," Amato adds.
She says Ohio is just now entering what is typically known as the peak of flu season. A late flu season, she says, peaks in March. That is the case for 2016, last year.Amato says flu cases typically climb during the peak season, November through February.
Amato says vaccinations are not the only formula for successfully avoiding the flu this time of year. She says diligence about hand-washing, and coughing into your elbow, will also help from transferring germs into your body or spreading them. Amato says people who have the flu need to stay home until the contagious period has passed, usually within a few days of contracting the bug.