Butler County flu hospitalizations changed their trend and rose last week

After several weeks of declines, hospitalizations prompted by the flu rose last week, according to the Butler County Health Department.

There were 51 influenza-associated hospitalizations in the county last week. That was up from 39 the week of Jan. 21-27 and 33 the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, but well below the peak of 97 during the week of Jan. 7-13.

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“It appears that we are on the downward slope of the influenza season in terms of hospitalizations for flu,” said Jenny Bailer, the county health commissioner. “This is true across the state as well. We hope this trend continues.”

That doesn’t mean everyone is in the clear for illness, which still is going around.

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Here are some suggestions from Bailer about how to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu, which can be deadly:

“This is not a time to let up on good hygiene practices — washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when ill, and requesting Tamiflu from your doctor if you feel like you may be getting the flu are all good things to do,” she said. “Bumping fists or elbows instead of shaking hands is also a good way to decrease the amount of germs on your hands.”

Here were the number of flu-associated hospitalizations in the county during recent weeks:

Dec. 17-23: 9;

Dec. 24-30: 35;

Dec. 31-Jan. 6: 57;

Jan. 7-13: 97;

Jan. 14-20: 64;

Jan. 21-27: 39;

Jan. 28-Feb. 3: 33;

Feb. 4-10: 51.

Source: Butler County Health Department

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