COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Health is reporting a spike in the number of people hospitalized with influenza this year compared to last year.
Department spokeswoman Shannon Libby says it's early to see this much flu activity, with cases typically going up in January or February.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday that:
- 863 Ohioans have been hospitalized with influenza this season, compared with just 65 by this time last season.
- The paper says totals from early October through Dec. 22 included 326 hospitalized across the state during the week of Dec. 16-22.
- That compares with just nine hospitalized statewide with the flu during the same week in 2011.
The Ohio Department of Health collects the data from city and county health departments and reports flu hospitalizations weekly.
In its report for the week of Dec. 16-22, the department says the states neighboring Ohio, including Kentucky and Indiana, are all seeing spikes in flu cases.
The report breaks the number of Ohio flu cases down by region. The Southwest, which includes Cincinnati, had 25 cases for the week. The highest incidence of flu for the same period was found in the Central region, which had 97 reported cases. The lowest number was found in the Northwest, with 15.
Getting a flu shot
A number of local clinics and pharmacies offer flu shots at different price levels. Health insurance may cover the costs, so check with your provider.
- Tri-State Urgent Care: $20 http://www.tristateurgentcare.com
- Doctors Express Urgent Care: $20 http://www.doctorsexpresscincinnati.com
- The Little Clinic (inside most local Kroger stores): $25 www.thelittleclinic.com
- CVS/pharmacy: $31.99 http://www.cvs.com
- Walgreens: $31.99 http://www.walgreens.com