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      Local health officials warn of rise in flu & respiratory illnesses

      The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department says it's noticed a significant rise in respiratory illnesses and the flu in the last few weeks.

      The Ohio Department of Health has also reported a widespread increase in flu reports.

      Health officials say among the respiratory illnesses being reported include sinus infections, sore throats, ear infections, common cold and bronchitis.

      They advise, that in order to reduce a persons' risk of respiratory illnesses they should wash their hands carefully with soap and water (alcohol based sanitizers are also effective), cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth unnecessarily.

      If a person is already suffering from a respiratory illness, they should speak with a doctor about the proper use of medication to treat the illness.

      The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is also reminding everyone to get their flu shot if they have not done so already.

      The flu vaccine is recommended by the CDC for anyone that is 6 months or older.

      While everyone is advised to get a flu vaccine each flu season, the CDC notes it??s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated:

      • Pregnant Women
      • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
    • People 65 years of age and older
    • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
    • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
    • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu