Another flu-related death has been reported in our area, bring the total number of deaths in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to eight.
According to the Henry County Health Department, a 47-year-old woman died in early January after having flu-related symptoms. A lab test confirmed she was suffering from influenza.
So far this season, four others have died from the flu in Lucas County. Two flu deaths have been reported in Monroe County and one death in Lenawee County.
A nine death, in Lucas County, has yet to be officially tied to influenza and has not been verified by the health department, according to the county's health commissioner Dr. David Grossman. He said Tuesday that the death of Eric Sherman, Jr. is "in all likelihood" a case of the H1N1 flu strain.
Health officials across the region have said that strains of the flu are leading to severe complications for all age groups, not just the traditional high-risk groups. "This year's flu is affecting the 18-59-year-old group particularly hard, including those who are healthy and active," the Lenawee County Health Department said in a statement.
Health officials are urging residents to protect themselves from the flu by getting a vaccine. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department will hold a flu vaccine clinic on Saturday, January 25 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 635 N. Erie St. in downtown Toledo.
Dr. Grossman said that over the past year, the vaccine appears to have a 51% effectiveness and that those who immunize themselves seem to experience less severe cases of flu.
All reported flu deaths in Lucas County, and two in Monroe County, have been people who did not receive the flu shot.
Henry County, like Wood County, says they have seen a lower or expected number of flu cases this year.
Wood County has reported 42 cases of flu this season, while in Michigan's Lenawee County, nearly 500 cases of flu have been reported, 39 of which have been confirmed by lab tests.
In Lucas County, there have been 77 confirmed flu hospitalizations this season.