Flu season 2022-23: Doctors see concerning uptick in hospitalizations

According to doctors within the Christ Hospital Health Network, there’s an uptick in flu patients being admitted to the hospital compared to this time last year.

“We’re seeing cases a good month or so before we typically see them. We’re seeing influenza hospitalization which we do not typically have in November,” said Dr. Thomas Lamarre, infectious disease specialist with The Christ Hospital Health Network. “We are already seeing a fair amount of disease in the community in addition to all of the respiratory stuff we’re seeing.”

The Ohio Department of Health tracks seasonal flu activity on a weekly basis throughout the year starting in the month of October. After the third week of the season, the data shows hospitalizations due to the flu shot up over one hundred cases. In the most recently recorded week, there were nearly 200 hospitalizations.

“We really worry about the two vulnerable groups for influenza A,” said Lamarre. “Those below the age of 5 years and those above 65. Particularly infants and toddlers who have no real influenza exposure for the past two to three years. So, we have lots of concerns about that, but again the earlier you start the more cases there will be, and that’s what we are worried about.”

Lamarre recommends people get a flu vaccine before holiday gatherings because it can take between 10 and 14 days to be fully protected by the vaccine.

WCPO is a content partner of the Journal-News.

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