State health officials say influenza activity is now widespread in Ohio, and they're encouraging residents to get vaccinated.
The Ohio Department of Health says it has received reports of flu-like illness in more than half the regions in the state.
Shannon Libby with the health department says the numbers are down compared to this time last year, but that’s no reason to put off vaccination.
“The one thing that’s predictable about flu is that it’s unpredictable. And so we don’t know what the numbers are going to do -- they could increase quite a bit and so that’s why we’re really encouraging vaccination."
Since the flu season began in October, over 800 influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported in Ohio. Those primarily occurred in northeast and east-central Ohio.
More than twice as many hospitalizations had been reported at this time in the previous flu season, when the state saw over 19 hundred hospitalizations. Flu is usually the worst in January or February.
The health department says no pediatric fatalities have been reported in Ohio this season.