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16:33 PM

NBC4: How do people die from the flu?

This flu season has been deadly and unfortunately, there are still many weeks to go. As a reminder, if you haven’t received your flu shot yet, it’s not too late and is encouraged by physicians. Even if you end up getting the flu, having a flu shot can lessen the severity of your symptoms and even shorten the flu’s duration.

As of early February, over 50 children nationwide have died from the flu. In the state of Ohio, a record number of people have been hospitalized and roughly 40 people have died from it.

Some of these deaths are occurring in otherwise healthy people. So how do people die from the flu?

“The flu virus can get deep in your lungs. Your immune system responds and you get mucus and fluids, and then other bacteria grows and develops and causes pneumonia,” Glenn Williams, MD, medical director of OhioHealth Urgent Care, recently told NBC4 reporter Tyler Carter.

“In some cases, that bacteria will get into the bloodstream and it causes something called sepsis, which goes to your organs…and that can cause you to die.”

He told NBC4 that those under 5 and those over 65 are most at risk of dying from the flu.

Dr. Williams says he is seeing a slight decline in the number of flu patients visiting OhioHealth Urgent Care recently – but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t getting sick. Instead, some opt to not visit the doctor when symptoms arise, something doctors do not recommend. If you are seen within 48-hours of initial symptoms, you may be able to be prescribed Tamiflu.

If you haven’t received your flu shot yet, you can get one from your primary care provider or at an OhioHealth Urgent Care location near you. The flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age.

To see the NBC4 story, click on their logo below.