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Flu Warning: Flu strain causing serious complications & death in Tri-State

Flu Warning: Flu strain causing serious complications & death in Tri-State (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It appears the peak of flu season may have hit a little later this season.

Public health experts said Wednesday, March 15, they expect to see cases into May. But even if cases drop, the most common strain going around appears to be especially dangerous. Which was why getting a flu shot to protect against it might still be a good idea.

Nicolette Catlat is a busy grad student and admitted she didn't get the flu vaccine yet.

Catlat said, “It's been really hectic for me and I just haven't had time.”

Wednesday she was making time perhaps just in time. The most recent reports from public health experts in both Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky showed even though flu may be on the decline, when it came to those getting the virus it was making people very sick.

Kelly Giesbrecht is an expert flu tracker in northern Kentucky. The type of flu circulating the most was called H3 and it does cause a lot more hospitalizations. Officials have also seen five people die from the flu just in the past few weeks. That was why they were pushing the vaccine; a good match against the H3 strain.

Part of the reason the vaccine was still important, even if the numbers were just starting to decline, had to do with “Hurd Protection.” That means sometimes people getting the shot might protect someone they love.

The flu tends to hit suddenly and causes fever, aches, and usually respiratory and breathing problems. Most of the deaths have been from pneumonia or complications in those who can't fight it off.

The vaccine was about 50 percent effective, but if people get the flu after having it, it will likely be a milder case.

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